Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun
#TrigglyPuff: This is What a Social Justice Warrior Looks Like


What #TrigglyPuff Means : The Other McCain

The phenomenon of #TrigglyPuff — Cora Segal, the angry feminist who disrupted an event at the University of Massachusetts this week — deserves extended analysis, and I’ve got a 4,000-word draft in queue, awaiting the final touches. Spending two days analyzing the social significance of this comedic phenomenon was perhaps too much, but that’s my job. You need someone to totally overthink it? I’m available.

Anyway, while working on that brain-straining endeavor, it dawned on me what a small world radical feminism actually is. Cora Segal became notorious in March 2014 for a “Fat Justice” event at Swarthmore College that I blogged about, and here she is two years later, notorious again.


Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 30, 2016 8:57 PM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: What A Wonderful World

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 30, 2016 7:17 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Salto Angel

A drone takes you over the edge of El Salto Angel in Venezuela, the highest waterfall in the world....


Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 30, 2016 9:36 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Age-Activated Attention Deficit Disorder AKA Just Another Average Day At My Place

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 29, 2016 4:50 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"I don't care who the candidate is.... Ask what you can do for the candidate." Andrew Brietbart @ CPAC 2012

"If you’re not in that bunker because you’re not satisfied with a certain candidate, more than shame on you! You’re on the other side!"


Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 29, 2016 2:17 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Ghost Town


I drive the Skyway to the town named Paradise,
park his car at the canyon's rim, and sit awhile
in the hot silence of the afternoon looking out
at the Sierra mountains where, in June, the winter lingers.
On the seat beside me a well-taped cardboard cube
contains what remains of my father. I climb out
and, taking the cube under my arm, begin to climb
down the canyon's lava wall to the stream below.
The going is slow, but we get to the bottom by and by
and sitting on some moss, we rest awhile, the cube and I,
beside the snow-chilled stream.
- - My Father

There are two ways into Paradise, the back way and the Skyway. When you can you take the Skyway but the back way will get you there just the same. When I moved back to Paradise after being gone for more than 60 years everything had changed but nothing had changed. Superimposed over Paradise as it is was Paradise as it was. Not everywhere but in the rise and roll of the land and roads; in the place names and the clearings. It was there in the overlay, in that "certain slant of light" where you see what is not there layered over what is. Because it what was is still there; in moments that appear unbidden and "fade upon the blowing of the horn."

And in those translucent moments I often see all Paradise as ghostly, drifting like a soft wall of mist across the scrim screen of the present. I can always hold this at bay, filter it out to get the errands of the day done. And then in an unguarded moment, it returns.

One afternoon soon after I arrived in Paradise I saw my father standing next to the Skyway. I saw my father, alive as you or me, and dead these forty years.

By the time I saw him it didn't really shock me. I'd lived in Paradise for over a month and I knew these things could happen here. Paradise was not just Paradise. It was a ghost town. And it was filled with my ghosts.

I first saw my father in the middle of the day next to Big O Tires on the Skyway. I'd gone there to have some minor repair done to my car and, while they took the car into the bay behind me, I wandered into the empty front showroom and gazed through the Big O display windows looking out over the Skyway and down the steep decline and quick rise of Pearson Road. Then I glanced down to the left of the showroom at a small vacant building next door. It was caked with many years of paint. The latest coats were pale gray with a light blue trim. The windows were sheets of painted plywood nailed tight to the frames and the door was solid with a padlock. It was shut tight and, like many buildings on the Skyway in Paradise and beyond, had a large red and white "For Lease" sign attached to the front.

As I looked at it my father walked through the closed and padlocked door and, like me, stood looking down hill as the traffic paused at the light and then turned left or right at the T-junction.

It was December for me, but it must have been summer for him because he stood there in his starched, short-sleeved, crisp and immaculate white shirt with a stainless steel Parker ballpoint pen in his pocket, a sharp crease in his slacks, his perfectly shined shoes, and a ruler-level flat-top -- his choice of a "sharp" haircut for men and boys. He stood there for about a minute as I watched him without moving, the smell of new tires in my nostrils. Then he turned and walked back through the walls of his office.

Behind me a burst of compressed air from a lug wrench brought me out of my brown study and I was looking again at a gray and blue building with a small courtyard that was now "For Lease." It was then I recognized the old building as the place where my father had had his car dealership when we all lived in Paradise in the mid-1950s. I told myself that what I had just experienced was some sort of vivid memory from my childhood as a kind of faint film from my mind projected onto the mundane present. Yes, that was all it was. I'm sure of that. I'm an educated man of no little experience in the real, wide world of now. It only felt like seeing a ghost. In broad daylight in deep December, dressed for summer.

The last time I'd seen my father was in a dream decades after he died on the operating table. He came to me out of the streets in the Red City that persists off and on over the years in my dreams. He was wearing a hospital smock stained with large patches of his blood. He said to me, "I don't belong with the dead," and then he faded. I hadn't seen him since.

This time, on the Skyway of Paradise, he was looking much better; looking at home with the dead. This time he didn't even seem dead, only translucent. I had a brief moment of disappointment that he was gone before we could continue the conversation from where he left off in my dream, but having been briefly dead I knew that the dead have little to say to the living. In any case, it was my father and I was, this time, glad to see him.

The poet says "Old men should be explorers." When I was younger I admired that sentiment but now, as the hand of age closes around me, I find I don't wish to explore new lands, but to explore again those I have already passed through trying to see what I missed in the first hectic rush towards my "goals."

These days I pass my father's place on the Skyway several times a week while turning onto the Skyway on an errand in Paradise or down from the ridge and into the valley to see my mother or to get the kind of meal unavailable in Paradise. My father's vacant office is right at the turn and, because of that (or so I tell myself), I don't stop. Someday I might pull over down the road a bit and walk back to his office hoping to see him again. But I don't think he'll oblige if I do. He doesn't have to. He's not inside our time now. He's just one of many ghosts that I've seen of late, up here on the ridge, up here in Paradise.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 29, 2016 1:12 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"There Is a Crack in Everything. That's How the Light Gets In."


Scientists just captured the flash of light that sparks when a sperm meets an egg For the first time ever, scientists have captured images of the flash of light that sparks at the very moment a human sperm cell makes contact with an egg. The phenomenon has been observed in animals before, but no one’s ever seen the spark of human conception. And what’s even more incredible is the fact that some eggs burn brighter than others, which is a direct indication of their ability to develop into a healthy embryo.KA-CHING

23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him. -- Mark 9:23-25

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 28, 2016 8:58 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Truth About Popular Music

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 28, 2016 10:29 AM | Comments (13)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Boomer Anthems: My Back Pages

"A self-ordained professor’s tongue
Too serious to fool
Spouted out that liberty
Is just equality in school
“Equality,” I spoke the word
As if a wedding vow
Ah, but I was so much older then
I’m younger than that now"

In late 1965, Dylan commented on the writing of "My Back Pages" specifically during an interview with Margaret Steen for The Toronto Star: "I was in my New York phase then, or at least, I was just coming out of it. I was still keeping the things that are really really real out of my songs, for fear they'd be misunderstood. Now I don't care if they are."

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 28, 2016 8:41 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Conservative Media and the Microphone


"It’s not like we didn’t know this was coming. Megyn Kelly is already talking about leaving Fox News.

In recent interviews, Kelly is triangulating against her employer, snarking about the “brain damage that comes from the job” of working at Fox. She’s openly speculating about bailing on the company when her contract runs out because she doesn’t feel the company has backed her sufficiently against the evil sexist Donald J. Trump.
Trump’s attacks on her are the best thing that could have happened to Kelly. Before, she was America’s Sweetheart, a center-right pundit with flowing blonde locks ready to calmly tell you how it is. Not a bad position to be in, but no one important would take her seriously. Now, Megyn Kelly scowls at us from the camera with her angry woman haircut, covering the really critical issues like the “assault” on Michelle Fields.
Few people involved in what is absurdly called the “conservative media” want to shift the Overton Window to the Right or view themselves as activists. Instead, their goal is to carve out a niche, secure the loyalty of a certain market, and then push products to that market. If you are Jim Bakker (back and bigger than ever) or Glenn Beck, it’s buckets of food or packets of “survival seeds” so you can survive the End Times. If you’re some girl on Fox News, you want some subtly suggestive picture of yourself on the cover; what you are actually writing about is beyond the point. If you are Bill O’Reilly, you’re pushing a particular fantasy about “greatness” to aging white men who know the country’s best years are behind it. If you are Mark Levin, you’re offering Talmudic and convoluted knowledge about the Constitution, with Levin acting as a kind of rabbi bestowing ancient secrets on the uneducated goyim.
The point is to secure ownership of The Microphone to guarantee access to that market. The business model only works if the Narrative is predictable, the talking points are the same, and the supposed solutions are things people are used to. The recent report Erick Erickson, Mark Levin, and Glenn Beck are being paid to attack Trump isn’t some amazing revelation. It’s just business as usual....""
- - Gregory Hood: RTWT

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 28, 2016 6:52 AM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Don't Fence Me Out, Bro

Secret Service Plans to Raise White House Fence by 5 Feet


Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down. I could say "Elves" to him,
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
He said it for himself.
-- Frost

Here endeth the lesson.

I want to ride to the ridge where the West commences
And gaze at the moon till I lose my senses
And I can't look at hobbles and I can't stand fences
Don't fence me in

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 28, 2016 6:50 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Trumpening Becomes The Reckoning

Make no mistake. It's not revenge they're after.....

And now, the word according to Milo:

"Dear #NeverTrump: It's Time To Get Behind Daddy - "So, #NeverTrump haters and losers — it’s time we had a little talk.

Now, I know Trump and the alt-right hurt your feelings by relentlessly undermining the anointed heir to the Royal House of Bush, as well as that flamboyant, permanently dehydrated ADHD junkie from Florida, but it’s time to let bygones be bygones. So, by all means spend a few days in a safe space blowing bubbles and eating oatmeal raisin cookies like your feminist compatriots to recover, but after that it’ll be time to face reality: Trump is going to be your party’s nominee. It’s not so bad, honestly. If you get behind Trump fast enough, your betrayed base might forget comments like “we decide the nominee, not the voters.”

"Those weren’t just any old voters you were alienating, by the way. They include the next generation of conservative firebrands, who are currently gravitating to Trump, the alt-right, and me. Unlike most right-wing writers, my biggest demographic is 18-34 year olds. Your supporters will be dead or retired in ten years. Ours won’t. It’s pretty simple, really. Either you want your party and movement to die, or you don’t."
"The GOP establishment are keen on flooding the country with cheap workers. Backing Trump just means your party will be flooded with cheap voters — you don’t have to bribe them this time; Trump will make them come for free! And they aren’t even Mexican gang members — just disgruntled blue-collar Democrats and independents. You own the beltway, and you’ll always own the beltway. So why not come together with the unwashed masses, behind Trump? Don’t forget, you need the base to keep funding your lavish lifestyles. Look, the Inner Party of Oceania in 1984, which you’ve modeled yourself on so well, was adept at the idea of doublethink. It’s perfectly acceptable to both hate Trump and tell the proles to vote for him. Stop letting the hate cloud your vision and act in your own best interest, like you normally do."
"Some of you are convinced that Trump will lose to Hillary, hence your support for the eminently electable Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)97% and charismatic people’s champion Jeb Bush. And it’s true that Hillary currently beats Trump in the polls. But Trump hasn’t even started exposing all the skeletons in her closet yet — assuming the FBI don’t get there first. Remember, this time last year, Jeb Bush was ahead in the polls. Look how that turned out! Oh, sorry, I shouldn’t have reminded you. Here, have a box of tissues."

Meanwhile, as Cruz throws his Hail Carly Pass well out of bounds, Kasich heads off into the Elephants' Burying Ground mumbling coulda-been-a-contender the Trump breaks out the dreaded teleprompter, and the heads of the Whole Thing ask themselves the burning question of the moment,

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 27, 2016 11:07 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Sentinels

With woven steel hands

Cupped around clear cadenced tones,
Our sentinels of the infinite
Herald the skein of the sky,
Repeating one announcement,
Sans ornament and instantaneous,
To be etched on eternity's orbit
In a tattoo of silences.

Like torches tossed down
Into unexplored caverns
Our call dwindles and fades
Till the darkness dissolves it:

"We have arrived at the limits of Earth.
We are here. We are here.
We stand on the edge of Forever.
We are here. We are here.
Are we alone here? Are we here alone?
All alone here on the shore of the sky?"

In numbers and bits
The signal soars up,
Clambering the jade ladder
Out of the pit of gravity
To float like some ancient insect
Trapped within the amber spine of light:

"We have arrived at the limits of Earth.
We are here. We are here.
We stand on the edge of Forever.
We are here. We are here.
Are we alone here? Are we here alone?
All alone here on the shore of the sky?"

The disconcerting occurrence

Encountered at the terminus
Of all the mind's parabolas
Is the thought that Nothing
Is all that occurs, that endures;

That Pinwheels of luminous plasma,
Glowing reefs of nebula's matter,
Spatter the crests of the darkness
And descend like lamenting specters
Caught in the eddies of shoreless seas.

Their lights, creeping up along
The curve of the continuum, gleam
No more than the two-franc candles
Cupped in crippled, translucent palms
In the grotto of Our Lady at Lourdes.

And thus they too only serve
To dapple, quite briefly, the dark edge
Of that shoreless ocean that consumes
What little light they lend,
Until, like some pitch-drenched Pharaoh,

Are damned down into oblivion
By their own command to wait
Sealed in stonelight for a distant dawn.
All these thoughts and messages
Noted for a nanosecond, memorized

In some splinter of a second,
In tombs of luminous instruments,
Relayed, incorporated, and sent out:
A telegram with no fixed address
Woven out of frozen starlight,

And then to the darkness delivered.

Fantasy fears spun in the circles of flickering campfires.

Mythologies winnowed out of unusual stones, or bone, or bits of bark.
Cosmologies concocted from rats' skulls, corn, and Titanium atoms.
Theologies tortured from the blind, wrung from hints in high cumulus.
All the perceived and imagined stockades raised against Zero:
The face of hoarfrost that blooms in our mirror, the Last God,
He who is the Pure Noun for which there is no adjective,
An orb of vacuum which sees itself as Cosmos, a tendril of unseen smoke,
A word which can never be spoken, the footprints of extinguished stars,
The visage mathematics cannot freeze.

Shored against such a Shibboleth all

Our philosophies and ornaments evaporate.
All our most comforting music and meters dissolve.
The clapping of frostbitten hands in Antarctic tents continues.
Above us the rictus of universal harmonies lingers.
The new landscape appears: desolate, arid, airless, uninhabitable.
The tendrils of the desert of the senses invade its frontiers,
Guided by hands of ice that caress the belly of the stratosphere,
As far above the chill ionic winds erase the footprints pressed
Into the dust of the moon's untenanted tranquillity.

The waterless waves on that sea without ships

Go outward, roll onward in search of horizons.
The faces in stone keep their futile appointments
With wind and with water, which also have schedules,
That return them to silence in a melding of stars
Here where the tree's roots drink from the stream,
Here on the banks of tomorrow as the mind's searching message,
Laden with numbers, with dates, and with data,
Rises up and flies out past the sun to the birth of the stars.

**The Very Large Array
The observatory consists of 27 independent antennas, each of which has a dish diameter of 25 meters (82 feet) and weighs 209 metric tons (230 Short tons).[2] The antennas are arrayed along the three arms of a Y-shape (each of which measures 21km/13 miles long). Using the rail tracks that follow each of these arms -- and that, at one point, intersect with U.S. Route 60 at a level crossing -- and a specially designed lifting locomotive, the antennas can be physically relocated to a number of prepared positions, allowing aperture synthesis interferometry with a maximum baseline of 36 km (22 miles): in essence, the array acts as a single antenna with that diameter. The smallest angular resolution that can be reached is about 0.05 arcseconds at a wavelength of 7 mm.... In 2011, a decade long upgrade project had resulted in the VLA expanding its technical capacities by factors of as much as 8,000.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 27, 2016 1:21 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Be It Ever So Humble: A Cottage for Sale: 1936

September 1936. "House for sale in Manchester, New Hampshire." - - | Shorpy


Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 26, 2016 7:34 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Steven Crowder's Rant of the Year (So Far): "Time to Listen Up You Silly Liberal Fruitcakes"

This is wonderful on so many levels. Pass it on.


Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 26, 2016 9:04 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Smoke


Snow still sheaths the streets in their mountains,
and the spring trees shudder in the wind off their lakes,
until night's smoke frames them fades them finally and forever and they're gone...
gone into the smoke of the world.

Smell of her long hair hot in the sun through the windshield,
rattle of dried corn sheaves shaken by dusk's breeze,
soft heft of breasts sweet as winter oranges,
the breath rising in the dry heat parching her body.
And the fire rose up in me and I stretched her out, O lovely,
across the pale cloth and reached out
and holding held and held until gone....
gone into the smoke of the world.

Gone fifty years.
The day, the lips, the hair -- gone,
gone forever, forever gone into the gone world...
gone into the smoke of the world.

Above Berkeley's Old Moe's bookstore late at night
she loomed over me in the lamplight
as morning seemed forever delayed.
An eastern school took her at dawn,
her name forgotten, her scent and her flesh
remembered so that even now, on a unknown street
here in the west, I sometimes pass
a woman with that scent and turn
wondering, all these past gone years later,
could that one, that one, that one have been her
in that night when the dawn delayed,
and I woke to find her scent on the pillow
but her body forever gone, gone forever...
gone into the smoke of the world.


They arrive dancing along the blade of night.
They leave fading into the smoke of dawn.
The mists of memory swirl and fold,
and remove their distinct details:
the haiku left behind in old boxes:
"I scrunched up the moon
into my water bucket..."

Did someone say she became a singer
somewhere in California? Judy? Was that,
last innocent love of my youth, her name?

The Christian roommate with tawny hair,
stroking the breasts near the kennels of the barkless dogs.
That musk, that hot breath in the cherry orchards,
the dwarf cattle, that hand closing upon me
so fleetingly and then gone...
gone into the smoke of the world.

The Italian with the moped.
The cowgirl with the blues.
The lapsed Catholic.
The painter with the horse's face and too-tight jeans.
The chintz shack. The quilt covered table.
The kiss upon my body -- Ah and Ah and Ah --
The whispered love in the attic of the San Francisco Mansion ---
The poet's garret on the side street, gray corridors --
The one named after the little deer... Bambi....

And then the forest takes a spark
And all the woods are blazing
And ash drifts down over the days
And they are all gone ... all gone...
gone into the smoke of the world.

Then the years of the cities and the slim women
wafting out of the night and into the smoky clubs.
The models and the painters and the posers.
Hairdressers, shop girls.... and those that loved the literary life.
The mockers and the shockers who kept
mostly cats but sometimes chittering marmots.
The ones who were sneaking around way downtown.
The socialites at the Black and White Ball
who needed their foreheads held as they hurled
into the shrubbery and then headed back to the bar
for another burst of oblivion.

And then in the room next to the roses in the Sur,
Holding the one who became the long wife.
Now off to her aging and gone, long gone...
gone into the smoke of the world.

The brief wife calls from her place in the smoke,
hiding her need at the center of her speech,
and achieving assurance can't wait to fade back
to the rooms that she's chosen to have and to hold.

"How am I?
I'm good.
I'm doing quite well."

"That's good.
Glad to hear it.
Stay well."

Missed connections.
Harsh static.
The cellphone in fade and then gone...
gone into the smoke of the world.

Snow still sheaths the streets
in their mountains and rivers,
and the spring trees shudder
in the wind off their lakes,
and the streetlights flicker
in their towns and their cities,
until winter banks their fires,
and night fades them finally,
and forever they're gone,
gone into the gone world,
gone, gone, long gone,
gone into the smoke of the world.



Posted by Vanderleun Apr 25, 2016 1:09 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Boomer Anthems: Wooden Ships

I can see by your coat, my friend
You're from the other side
There's just one thing I got to know
Can you tell me please, who won the war ?

Go, take your sister then, by the hand
Lead her away from this foreign land
Far away, where we might laugh again
We are leaving, you don't need us

And it's a fair wind blowin' warm
Out of the south over my shoulder
Guess I'll set a course and go

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 25, 2016 11:20 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Making Matzo in the Lower East Side


Last year, Streit's closed its 90-year-old matzo factory on the Lower East Side of New York City. The Rivington Street location that produced unleavened bread for the Passover holiday had been a hallmark of the one-time Jewish enclave, alongside mainstays like Russ & Daughters and Katz's Deli.

A woman packages Streit’s matzo to be sent to Berlin during World War II. According to the company, only two-thirds of each box was filled with matzo, the rest was secretly filled with bullets for the resistance movement.

19 more photos at Streit's Matzo on the Lower East Side - The Atlantic

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 25, 2016 10:59 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink


It was found in the fog that shivered
        the slivers of glass in the windows.
It was seen in the sheen of the moon
         on the unworn wood of the floor.
It spoke with the slow, patient clutching of light
         and tapped out the unknown codes of the flesh,
         the indistinct worm of the years and the shapes
         of desire, possession, and fate.
It was mute.

It was stitched in the spaces
         of the wind's alphabet.
It was clothed in cool hands
         gloved in wet weather.
It appeared on the paths
         that admitted no passage.
It's rachety rhythms
         were all made of match sticks.
It waited.

It's slashings were tattooed
         on drapes of dank velvet.
It's gibbering laughter inserted itself
         between doorway and jamb and continued to carve.
It's snickering plumbing
         rotted the dinner.
They had left, they had left.
         Indeed, they had left.
Of that all their objects would clearly attest.


Posted by Vanderleun Apr 24, 2016 11:50 PM | Comments (16)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Limits of "Control:" 12 Points by William Burroughs


"There is simply no room left for 'freedom from the tyranny of government' since city dwellers depend on it for food, power, water, transportation, protection, and welfare. Your right to live where you want, with companions of your choosing, under laws to which you agree, died in the eighteenth century with Captain Mission. Only a miracle or a disaster could restore it." -- William S. Burroughs, Cities of the Red Night (1981)

There is a growing interest in new techniques of mind-control. It has been suggested that Sirhan Sirhan was the subject of post-hypnotic suggestion, as he sat shaking violently on the steam table in the kitch of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles while the as-yet unidentified woman held him and whispered in his ear. It has been alleged that behavior-modification techniques are used on troublesome prisoners and inmates, often without their consent. Dr. Delgado, who once stopped a charging bull by remote control of electrodes in the bull's brain, left the U.S. to pursue his studies on human subjects in Spain. Brainwashing, psychotropic drugs, lobotomy and other, more subtle forms of psychosurgery; the technocratic control apparatus of the United States has at its fingertips new techniques which if fully exploited could make Orwell's 1984 seem like a benevolent utopia.

But words are still the principal instruments of control. Suggestions are words. Persuasions are words. Orders are words. No control machine so far devised can operate without words, and any control machine which attempts to do so relying entirely on external force or entirely on physical control of the mind will soon encounter the limits of control.

A basic impasse of all control machines is this: Control needs time in which to exercise control. Because control also needs opposition or acquiescence; otherwise, it ceases to be control. I control a hypnotized subject (at least partially); I control a slave, a dog, a worker; but if I establish complete control somehow, as by implanting electrodes in the brain, then my subject is little more than a tape recorder, a camera, a robot. You don't control a tape recorder - you use it. Consider the distinction, and the impasse implicit here. All control systems try to make control as tight as possible, but at the same time, if they succeeded completely there would be nothing left to control. Suppose for example a control system installed electrodes in the brains of all prospective workers at birth. Control is now complete. Even the thought of rebellion is neurologically impossible. No police force is necessary. No psychological control is necessary, other than pressing buttons to achieve certain activations and operations.


Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 24, 2016 10:07 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 24, 2016 1:54 PM | QuickLink: Permalink

Hiraeth from Trent Jaklitsch on Vimeo.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 24, 2016 9:50 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Frequently Asked Future Questions of Future Greens
“Leadership”: What is the architectural equivalent of defenestration into elevator shafts?

Hey, is Yucca Mountain in Nevada open yet?

Is the infrastructure ready for an entire time zone to plug in electric cars, all at once, yet?

Can we expect NON-rolling brown out rationing?

Will a diesel generator recharge my autonomous car AND run the security lights ?

How much is Iranian “heavy” water, per 500ml plastic bottle?

They’ll be stetting up manufacturing of affordable and accessable Solarvoltaic panels, and wind mills with that profit?

Has rain-X marketed those special solar roof panel “winter” wiper blades yet?

Does spinning ones tires when stuck in snow, affect the range /heat /communications /lights /locks in electric cars?

Can I get a carbon offsets, for packaging/transportation/garbage generation, if I have agriculture that actually produces food, that I actually eat?

Can I get an “energy efficiency rebate” if I replace my old solar powered clothes dryer with a NEW, high efficiency, rope (and eco-friendly “wood” clothes pins)?

Just opening a cultured, intellectual, dialogue.

-- - CaptDMO House of Eratosthenes

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 24, 2016 8:29 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Imagine by Fredric Brown

Imagine ghosts, gods and devils.

Imagine hells and heavens, cities floating in the sky and cities sunken in the sea

Unicorns and centaurs. Witches, warlocks, jinns and banshees.

Angels and harpies. Charms and incantations. Elementals, farmiliars, demons.

Easy to imagine all of those things: mankind has been imagining them for thousands of years.

Imagine spaceships and the future.

Easy to imagine; the future is really coming and there'll be spaceships in it.

Is there then anything that's really hard to imagine?

Of course there is.

Imagine a piece of matter and yourself inside it, yourself, aware, thinking and therefore knowing you exist, able to move that piece of matter that you're in," to make it sleep or wake, make love or walk uphill.

Imagine a universe-infinite or not, as you wish to picture it- with a billion, billion, billion suns in it.

Imagine a blob of mud whirling madly around one of those suns.

Imagine yourself standing on that blob of mud, whirling with it, whirling through time and space to an unknown destination.


Written by Fredric Brown, 1955

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 24, 2016 2:12 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: The Perfect Pitch Test

Okay, it's been one of those days in which you are more than usually in despair over the fate of the damned human race, right?


Well here's the antidote. Listen carefully and more deeply than you usually do.

You'll notice the young feller yawning and stretching to illustrate the hour.
He has Perfect Pitch, sometimes known as Absolute Pitch. He can identify any note he hears without any other reference. He can even do it with ambient noises out in the world, like bird songs or sirens. They didn't get around to it in the video, but you can play multiple notes on the piano, and he can tell you all of them. It's a very unusual ability. Of course his father, in his infinite wisdom, taught him how to play the drums. -- Sippican Cottage

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 23, 2016 5:51 PM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Instamatic to Digimatic: The Kool Kamera Kodak Will Never Make [UPDATED]

It's been a nasty decade or so for Kodak. In the last two years alone the company's "highlights" have been "lowlights:"

In December 2010, Standard & Poor's removed Kodak from its S&P 500 index. In January 2009, Kodak posted a $137 million fourth-quarter loss and announced plans to cut up to 4,500 jobs. On June 22, 2009, Eastman Kodak Co announced that it will retire Kodachrome color film by the end of 2009, ending its 74-year run after a dramatic decline in sales. On December 4, 2009, Eastman Kodak Co sold its Organic light-emitting diode (OLED) business unit to LG Electronics which resulted in the laying off of 60 people, which includes research engineers, technicians and interns. - Eastman Kodak
Back in September of 2011 :Bottom Line - Kodak struggles to reinvent itself for digital age
Eastman Kodak appears to be staying clear of bankruptcy proceedings for now, but time is clearly running out for the 130-year old industrial icon to reinvent itself for a digital century.
But that was just blowing smoke because in January of 2012, Eastman Kodak Company and Its U.S. Subsidiaries Commence Voluntary Chapter 11 Business Reorganization And now, a year later, it seems as if it is getting a pulse, or at least a pacemaker: The Daily Docket: Judge Approves $843.7M Kodak Financing Deal - Bankruptcy Beat - WSJ

So it would seem that Kodak is getting a new lease on life, if not a renewed interest in creativity and innovation. For that it would have to go back to the future past.

If the company that calls itself Kodak today had a brain, it would copy the "Instamatic 100" from Kodak's greatest hits, drop a first rate lens in it, add some great chips, a view screen as big as the back of the camera, and rebrand it as the “Kodak Digimatic 100.” Instant win.

An Apple design from before Apple was Apple

They’ll never be cool enough to do it....


Posted by Vanderleun Apr 23, 2016 12:21 PM | Comments (22)  | QuickLink: Permalink
6 Minutes of Adam Carolla on Donald Trump's Popularity: "We Were Tired of Guys Who Looked Like Chicks Pretending to Play Instruments."

"Over the last eight years in this country.... we've been seeing all this trumped up insanity.... All the stuff, a lot of it racial...; And basically heterosexual white males who have to go to work all day say, 'Hey, you know, fuck this.' All the earners are tired of apologizing and they don't like where this thing's going.... The people who go to work, that pay the taxes... they've had enough."

{HT: -- Five Feet of Fury}

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 23, 2016 10:36 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Saturday Was Earth Day: Honor Gaia and Help a Hippie Achieve the State of Compost

Sane and thoughtful people upon viewing this quite naturally say, "Get me a gun. No, the bigger one."

Posted by Vanderleun Apr 23, 2016 2:10 AM | Comments (35)  | QuickLink: Permalink
An Earth Day Tradition: George Carlin - Saving the Planet

Transcript follows:


Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 22, 2016 11:59 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Some Guy with One Song People of a Certain Age Vaguely Remember Dies and the Popped Out Pop Culture Loses It's Little Mind

"The Bullshit is strong with this one."

As Sippican notes in Sippican Cottage: The Genuine Article, "I prefer my lugubrious fuzz-wah guitar playing to be accompanied by good singing, thanks."


Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 22, 2016 1:16 PM | Comments (16)  | QuickLink: Permalink
To Vacuum the Vacuum Use the Vacuum

vacuum-cleaner-diagram.jpgThanks to the unremitting efforts of two wives and a number of concerned girlfriends I have, over the years, become a fully domesticated man. I cook. I iron. I put the seat down out of pure reflex.

And I clean.

Yes, I clean the house. I have a wide variety of products and tools for floors, ceilings, window, toilets, and counter tops (I’m especially good on counter tops since I not only have cleaning spritzers in plain acid wash and foaming bleach blaster, I also have a compound that renews the polish once the sanitizing has been completed.) I am the very model of the modern major traife buster.

I am, however, a bit sketchy on floors. That is not to say you couldn’t eat off my floors. You could because you’d find a host of food shreds there on any given afternoon. This is not because I like floors configured as mouse buffets but only because, being 6’1”, the floors are so far away I don’t really focus on them. My solution? The world’s most rapacious vacuum cleaner, “The Kirby.”

Actually, I have 2 (two!) solutions since I own 2 (two!) vacuum cleaners. The first is a kind of cheap, plastic metrosexual’s vacuum bought at some box store because it was cheap. Like all metrosexual items, it performs in a manner that lets you know all cheap things are worth much less than you spent on them. It sucks by not sucking as a sucker of floor dirt should. Very sucky. It is, at the best, back-up. Bags and parts for it are sold everywhere.

Then there’s “The Kirby” weighing in are over twenty pounds of solid chromed steel, titanium bristles that can skin a black rhino, and a woven cloth bag wrapped around the vacuum bag that could be made into an outdoor area rug. The motor in this bad boy is so powerful it can suck kittens out of my basement through the floorboards in the living room. It is the chopped Harley Hog of vacuums.


The bags for this hoovering T-Rex are built to blast stresses and are rare as dinosaur eggs. Finding them always calls for an expedition to a far-away strip malls and into some Norwegian albino's small appliance parts shop sandwiched between a sketchy Malaysian smoke shop and a lap-dance rec room. It’s a chore.

So much of a chore that when The Kirby’s bag filled up about six months back I was too lazy to pack a lunch and go find new ones. My solution? Pure genius!

I took out the old bag which was almost rock solid with dust mites, hair, and the bones of desiccated kittens and, holding it over the toxic waste recycling bin behind the garage, cut the bottom open and shook the contents into the bin. Then, because there is nothing it cannot do, I duct-taped the bottom of the bag and slapped it back in The Kirby.

“There. I fixed it.”

Fast forward half a year and I am found manhandling The Kirby over the current mouse buffet and noticing that for a super-sucker its sucking sucks. So I say to myself, “Self, check it out.”

I open the military gauge zipper on the back of the bag and instantly a fibrous tumor of hair and dust mites oozes out. I retreat and don Haz-Mat suit. I inspect the superfund site that is my kitchen.

It would seem that my duct-tape resealing of the bag had, well, failed to hold the bag’s universe together some months back and that all creatures great and small that had been sucked off my floors was now compressed into a hair ball that threatened to expand into all of known space.

Seeing everything that has come off your floors in the last six months in one wad is a unique experience but I resisted the urge to perform an archeological dig on the site. Instead, I deployed a very large garbage back and, grimacing, transferred the dust mite condo from the bag into the bag. It was only the beginning.

Upon inspection of the inside of The Kirby’s bag I found that at least an inch of detritus was still impacted into the cloth on all surfaces. I scraped at it a bit but the dust cloud just deepened around me and drifted out onto the previously pristine floors. Disaster loomed. Then I remembered.

“I own two vacuums. I shall vacuum this vacuum with a vacuum!” Sooper-Genius!

In no time I had deployed vacuum two -- the previously mentioned “cheap, plastic metrosexual’s vacuum” -- attached the hose with the special little attachment that is used for sucking coins and popcorn kernels out of deep crevices in the couch, and switched it on.

Its puny little motor wound up and went to its wheezing limit. I tested the nozzle on my hand and felt the feeble suck but knew it would be better than scraping The Kirby’s inner bag surface with my fingernails. I deployed it inside the clogged bag and carefully and thoroughly went over all the surfaces until they seemed, well, “clean enough for government work.” Then I shut it down and carefully swept the dust and other detritus on the floor into a pile and sucked that up too. Then I mopped the floor of the kitchen. Twice. Until it gleamed.

I took a shower. I mixed a celebratory cocktail. I went to Amazon, found a pack of 12 bags for The Kirby, and ordered them on two day delivery. I went into the kitchen and thought to myself, “A wise man would now replace the bag in the weak little vacuum that has all the leavings from The Kirby in it.”

I opened the “cheap, plastic metrosexual’s vacuum” and knew instantly that many moons ago I had taken a bag out of that vacuum and somehow failed, FAILED, to install a new one. A cloud of hair, dust, dust mites and the bones of small animals exploded from the case and drifted across the gleaming kitchen floor and the carefully polished counter tops. I stood in the cloud at ground zero and felt the dust of ages settle on me.

They say that “Nature abhors a vacuum.” Nature’s got nothing on me.

Posted by Vanderleun Apr 22, 2016 1:09 AM | Comments (49)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: “The Old New World”

Elements used to assemble this bit of charming nostalgia are at "The Old New World" Photo-based animation project. on Behance

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 21, 2016 8:29 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Trump as Public Servant: The Early Years


How could Trump possibly believe he can fix government?

The developer Donald Trump (right) poses with New York City’s Park Commissioner Henry Stern holding a pair of ice skates that are intended for use at the Wollman Skating Rink Central Park in New York, August 7, 1986. Trump offered to rebuild the long-closed rink at no profit to himself after the city’s renovation effort went through five years of delays and more than double the original cost estimate. The rink reopened on November 13, 1986. 30 Years Ago: A Look Back at 1986 - The Atlantic

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 21, 2016 6:39 AM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Pure Science



Titanium skaters on lakes of metallic hydrogen
Strew constant curves of crystalline
Isotopes of orange uranium
All about our vacant house.

Enigmas of equations
Slide lattices to rest
In beds of powdered strontium,
Molding energy as form suggests.

In the place of flux we find new forms,
And our flux-formed spaces fold
The charms of magnet's fever
Which conduct the core from pole to pole.


The whiteness of Earth's silence
Is an eye that stares on space.
Orbits chart it ceaselessly,
Etching paradigms of lace.

The inner of Earth's outer
Is a torus twisted twice.
Balloons ascend within it
Claiming shadows are the room.


What can the mind of silence hear
Other than a whiteness past recall?
It evolves from our epicenters,
Stretches measureless as sound,

Or is seen as the floor of the void
Where the whine of protons stills
In the drifts of chromium snow,
Where we gaze upon the bones of matter bare.

At times, men in aluminum cloaks
Descend the neutron ladder,
And move in a sleet of particles
Too scintillating for instruments to record.

At times, men in groups descend
Through the smoke of the universe,
To tend the embers, imprison flame.
Their cascading dance sparkles,

We taste... the afterimage of events.
Below us, pale and silent,
The plutonium leaves rustle and arabesque
Through radiant silences of solid helium.


Sometimes it seems I had a dream and as that dreamer woke immersed in mineral baths closed within a cool, dark chamber fed by streams flowing in from the center of nowhere.

Hanging from the granite ceiling a kerosene lantern cast shards of light through the pale steam rising from the surface of the pools. Ripples radiated outwards from the edges of my body and tapping faintly on the rock revealed in echoes the edges of the chamber.

Outside I could hear the wind slide across the spine of the mountains speaking in a language that I remembered but could no longer understand. Steam filled my nostrils and heat penetrated my bones until, after a time, I had no body, only a sense of silence and distance and calm, as if I had just woken from all water into dream.


Posted by Vanderleun Apr 21, 2016 1:37 AM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Atom Bomb: One World or None | The Nation August 18, 1945

"Hey kids, let's give control of nuclear weapons to the United Nations!" This was one week after Hiroshima/Nagasaki in 1945.

Atom Bomb: One World or None | The Nation August 18, 1945

At the very minimum, the United Nations must be made trustee of the atomic bomb. Otherwise the idea of collective agreements to keep the peace may as well be abandoned.

But this minimum is far too small to provide any serious measure of safety. For the San Francisco charter is itself a collective agreement based on power. As Edward R. Murrow said the other day, the big nations have "created an organization and made laws from which they are exempt." In other words, there is no rule of law to which all nations are equally subject. The authority of the United Nations rests in the coalition of great powers which form its core. How much value can such an organization now have even if the control of the atomic bomb should be vested in it? It cannot dominate the world, for a single nation, small or large, possessed of the facilities to make the new explosive, would have as much power to threaten peace and terrorize other nations as did one or all of the Big Three–or Four–or Five. And any one of the large nations, ruled by a new Hitler, could reduce the world to slavery–or to dust. In the space of a single day the World Security Organization grew from childhood to senility. Now it must be replaced.

If we are to survive our new powers we must understand their full meaning. We shall have to move fast, both internationally and within each country. No longer can we afford a world organized to prevent aggression only if all of the great powers wish it to be prevented. No longer can we afford a social system which would permit private business, in the name of freedom, to control a source of energy capable of creating comfort and security for all the world’s people. This seems self-evident, and so it is. But it calls for changes so sweeping that only an immense effort of will and imagination can bring them about. A new conference of the nations must be assembled to set up a World Government, to which every state must surrender an important part of its sovereignty. In this World Government must be vested the final control over atomic energy. And within each nation the people must establish public ownership and social development of the revolutionary force war has thrust into their hands. This program will sound drastic only to people who have not yet grasped the meaning of the new discovery. It is not drastic. We face a choice between one world or none.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 20, 2016 12:45 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Ship of State


“Strait times come in history. Our time is such a time, millennial, full of fast currents, tossing, eddied, dangerous to pass through.” -- John Fowles, “The Aristos"

The thing is under the boat. The crew suspects as much but can't know for sure exactly where it is. They won't know where Leviathan is until it rises, inevitable and unstoppable, from the deep directly beneath them.

Can you feel it lurking just under the surface? I can and I think you can as well. The Greeks knew it as "Nemesis." Melville's Ahab knew it as "thou damned whale" and he struck at it from Hell's heart. Unperturbed it gathered him up and took him down. Then it took the boat and after that the ship. All save one followed. The whale beneath the surface of America's life is still there and all signs point to its breaching soon. Exactly where and exactly how are still unknown, but soon.

I feel the thing beneath the boat and I think others of my fellow citizens in ever growing millions feel it as well. We do not feel good about it and what it augers for the near and far future.

The jobs are not coming back. To know that you need to get off the inter-states; off the scenic blue highways that lead to your summer beach retreats. You need to get into the towns that have been passed by; the towns whose main industry has become food stamps and "assistance." These towns are growing in number daily and will continue to grow.

There is no work in these towns. The factories that supported them are long dead or dying. They, like the people they supported, are carbon based life forms and the strange insects that govern us seem to be united in making sure they never return. The checks and the food stamps come, but that's not enough to paint the houses or put in the gardens or do much more than eat too many pizzas and drink too much watery beer. The young would leave but more and more there's no place to go. They spend their time instead deciding on what sort of new tattoo will go well with the previous twenty.

The building of new houses and malls and condos and other large construction projects are not coming back. And even if they did where would we find the workers trained to build them? Old carpenters have moved on to making a living at something other than construction. There's not enough work to bring young ones onto the job and help them to master the skills needed. When a nation stops building it stops having the jobs that can train the next generation of builders. Mexicans, working cheap and off the books, are still in some demand, but there's a limit to repainting and the kind of minor brickwork that makes for a pleasant garden.

The money isn't coming back except at something worth less with every passing day. It begins to seem like mere slips of paper or a meaningless string of numbers that always seems to decrease. The stock market moves in fits and starts but doesn't seem to inspire the confidence needed to boost what once was the middle class. The debt looms ahead and consumes everything even as the argument is over whether or not to increase the debt rather than pay it down.

It's large and it's under the boat and it is beginning to rise. The crew is confused and flailing about. And the captain is insane but convinced he's on the right course. During the boom years it was commonly said, "A rising tide lifts all boats." True enough, but the rising of Leviathan can break the spine of our boat and send it down into the Maelstrom.

And the thing is under the boat.

[Republished from November 2011]


Posted by Vanderleun Apr 19, 2016 11:17 PM | Comments (26)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Irrational Hatred of Donald Trump #NeverTrump


Question: “From our observations, Ted Cruz is receiving significant support from the Objectivist online community.

Some say they support him because, while flawed, he's still the most principled pro-freedom candidate available. Others explicitly support him only because he's not Donald Trump. This is coming from a community that has historically identified religion as the gravest threat to the culture, to the point that key Objectivist intellectuals endorsed voting Democrat in 2004 and 2008. Yet now that the Republicans have a viable non-religious candidate, Trump has morphed into the new gravest threat to America.”
“The mental gymnastics we've seen to justify this position have been truly astounding and suggest some visceral emotion is driving the anti-Trump/pro-Cruz response. As long-time Objectivists ourselves, it's disturbing to us to see this coming from a community with a professed commitment to reason. What do you think is the root of this response to Trump, and what does it mean for the hope of turning the culture toward true commitment to reason?”


Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 19, 2016 11:12 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Chesterton's Gate

Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me~
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father's saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors."

- - - Frost, Mending Wall

In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox.

There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, "I don't see the use of this; let us clear it away." To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: "If you don't see the use of it, I certainly won't let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it."

This paradox rests on the most elementary common sense. The gate or fence did not grow there. It was not set up by somnambulists who built it in their sleep. It is highly improbable that it was put there by escaped lunatics who were for some reason loose in the street. Some person had some reason for thinking it would be a good thing for somebody. And until we know what the reason was, we really cannot judge whether the reason was reasonable. It is extremely probable that we have overlooked some whole aspect of the question, if something set up by human beings like ourselves seems to be entirely meaningless and mysterious. There are reformers who get over this difficulty by assuming that all their fathers were fools; but if that be so, we can only say that folly appears to be a hereditary disease. But the truth is that nobody has any business to destroy a social institution until he has really seen it as an historical institution. If he knows how it arose, and what purposes it was supposed to serve, he may really be able to say that they were bad purposes, that they have since become bad purposes, or that they are purposes which are no longer served. But if he simply stares at the thing as a senseless monstrosity that has somehow sprung up in his path, it is he and not the traditionalist who is suffering from an illusion.
The Collected Works of G.K. Chesterton

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 19, 2016 7:48 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
My Mom, the 101-Year-Old Activist

So I settle in with a nice cup of coffee, open my local paper today, Sunday, and turn to the lead editorial and I read....


Chico resident Lois Van der Leun is 101 years old. In a century of living, she never felt a need to get up and speak at a Chico City Council meeting — until Thursday.

She has been a Chico resident (and E-R subscriber) since 1963. When the council started talking about massive changes to The Esplanade, she wrote a letter to the editor last month urging citizens to rally against changing “our beautiful, gorgeous boulevard.”

She showed up at the council meeting earlier this month, ready to share her opinion, but when the meeting ran late into the night, she left, like many people that night.

Undeterred, she was there for part two of the meeting Thursday night.

She was easily recognizable. She was the one in the bright green T-shirt with three words on the front: “Save The Esplanade.”

She had four of them made and gave the others to friends. The saying caught on. Another one of Thursday’s speakers echoed her words — “Save The Esplanade” — at the podium and got a round of applause.

When Van der Leun’s name was called to speak, somebody offered to bring her the microphone so she wouldn’t have to walk to the podium. She would have none of that.

She made her points, then added, “I had some more to say but I can’t remember it all — because I’m old, I guess.”

And then: “As you can see, I’m not for changing anything on The Esplanade. See my T-shirt? ... I’m hoping nothing happens to it. OK?”

With that she walked back up to her seat as the audience applauded.

Full disclosure: I’ve known Van der Leun for a decade. A retired teacher, she was a volunteer at my kids’ school, the beloved “Grandma Lois.” She somehow still remembers their names. I want to be like her when I grow up.

There were a lot of people like her at the meeting Thursday — longtime Chico residents who don’t normally show up at meetings, but felt they had to for this topic. The vast majority of speakers were older residents with fond memories and a sense of history. The “Don’t mess with The Esplanade” crowd made a strong showing.

They didn’t want changes. They wanted police to enforce the law on running red lights. They wanted bicyclists to use designated bike routes like Oleander Avenue. They wanted Chico High School to improve drop-off and pick-up zones to address the congestion it creates. They wanted pedestrians to stop being oblivious.

There were a lot of ways to fix The Esplanade without tearing it apart, they said.

Then the council tore it apart.

Most of the changes were no big deal. Increasing the crosswalk time for pedestrians, creating pedestrian refuges in the median of The Esplanade and building a two-lane bike path in the old railroad right-of-way were all easy options to approve.

Putting two roundabouts on The Esplanade near Chico High will be the decision that haunts the four councilors who voted for it because it changes the historic nature of the street much more than a bike path or a crosswalk.

Longtime resident Nancy’s Lindahl’s letter in Thursday’s newspaper hit home with me. “If The Esplanade was a natural phenomenon like, say, Bidwell Park, we would teach our children to respect it, preserve it, go around it, adapt to it and not disturb it. We would consider it part of our unique heritage, which it is.”

For a little while longer anyway.

I called Van der Leun the next morning. She was visiting with a friend, talking about the council’s decision. I told her I was stunned. She said she wasn’t.

“I knew it would play out that way,” she said. “The minute they hire a consultant to make all those drawings, they’ve already decided.”

I couldn’t argue with that.

“Personally,” she said, “I think it should go to the ballot. Citizens should be able to vote on something so important, but I don’t know if anybody will go to the trouble of challenging it.

“I know I don’t have the energy,” she said.

David Little: Longtime residents can’t make the save on The Esplanade

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 17, 2016 8:43 PM | Comments (18)  | QuickLink: Permalink
There Is No Other Stream


“Although the sight of water made her feel ten times thirstier than before, she didn’t rush forward and drink. She stood as still as if she had been turned into stone, with her mouth wide open. And she had a very good reason; just on this side of the stream lay the lion.

It lay with its head raised and its two fore-paws out in front of it, like the lions in Trafalgar Square. She knew at once that it had seen her, for it eyes looked straight into hers for a moment and then turned away– as if it knew her quite well and didn’t think much of her.

‘If I run away, it’ll be after me in a moment,’ thought Jill. ‘And if I go on, I shall run straight into its mouth.’ Anyway, she couldn’t have moved if she had tried, and she couldn’t take her eyes off it.

How long this lasted, she could not be sure; it seemed like hours. And the thirst became so bad that she almost felt she would not mind being eaten by the lion if only she could be sure of getting a mouthful of water first.

‘If you’re thirsty, you may drink.’

They were the first words she had heard since Scrubb had spoken to her on the edge of the cliff. For a second she stared here and there, wondering who had spoken.

Then the voice said again, ‘If you are thirsty, come and drink,’ and of course she remembered what Scrubb had said about animals talking in that other world, and realized that it was the lion speaking.

Anyway, she had seen its lips move this time, and the voice was not like a man’s. It was deeper, wilder, and stronger; a sort of heavy, golden voice. It did not make her any less frightened than she had been before, but it made her frightened in a rather different way.

‘Are you not thirsty?’ said the Lion.

‘I’m dying of thirst,’ said Jill

‘Then drink,’ said the Lion.

‘May I—could I—would you mind going away while I do?’ said Jill.

The Lion answered this only by a look and a very low growl. And as Jill gazed at its motionless bulk, she realized that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move aside for her convenience. The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic.

‘Will you promise not to—do anything to me, if I do come?’ said Jill.

‘I make no promise,’ said the Lion.

‘Do you eat girls?’ she said.

‘I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms,’ said the Lion. It didn’t say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry. It just said it.

‘I daren’t come and drink,’ said Jill.

‘Then you will die of thirst,’ said the Lion.

‘Oh dear!’ said Jill, coming another step nearer. ‘I suppose I must go and look for another stream then.’

‘There is no other stream,’ said the Lion.”

–C.S. Lewis, The Silver Chair

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 16, 2016 10:55 PM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Loudon Wainwright III "My Meds"

Louden Wainwright is not going gentle into that good night.

"Klonopin’s a controlled substance, so I bum ‘em from my wife,
If the side effects don’t kill me all my meds might save my life.

I quit drinkin’, smokin’, red meat, dairy, and caffeine.
I’m not quite high on life, just slightly dead know what I mean?

I even asked the doctor “Doc how long can this go on?”
He said “Son you’re out to pasture, your next stop is Forest Lawn.”

You’ll need something stronger than your Advil and Aleve,
If you want to eat and sleep and piss and crap and schtup and breathe

Bonus Track:Richard Thompson and Loudon Wainwright III- Down Where the Drunkards Roll if you....


Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 16, 2016 4:35 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
States of the Union: A Small Core Sample of America


The Ferris Wheel, lit in long stripes of searing red and blue and green neon like some whirling sketch of an earth-bound star, pirouettes into the night sky above the slate waters of the Pacific at the end of the Santa Monica pier. Below it, the old seafood restaurant now serves Mexican food where gang-bangers herd their Saturday night dates around the bar, and the loud murmur of Angelino-accented Spanish rises above the waves that lap the pilings driven deep through the slow Pacific swell and into the sands below.

In a dark hollow somewhere in the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina, the first winds of winter hiss around an old dance hall where hundreds of white people and one black man stomp the boards in a contra dance. Dressed as vampires, wolf men, fairies, cowboys, and a host of other laughing fantasies, the dancers welcome the day of the dead to fiddles, guitars, pianos and drums as the caller makes the long lines of whirling people into stars and boxes, and a new girl is spun into your arms, flirting and bobbing, with every change in the ancient pattern of the dance, only to roll away with a half-sashay.

Outside the lights from the hall catch the flying drifts of gold and red leaves the wind is tearing from the trees, pushing them across the stars, and rolling them up in long drifts of crisp shadows against the wheels of Willys jeeps, old bangers, and brand new SUVs of every make and model. After the dance, Waffle Houses along Route 26 will fill up with costumed, exhausted dancers, their endorphins convincing them that, for this night at least, they are probably immortal.

The long wave laved beaches of the Isle of Palms outside of Charleston reinforce the new rule that no poor -- or even middle class -- people are now allowed to live by the ocean in America. The lots on which the endlessly elaborate houses that look out on the sea stand now cost between three and four million dollars each. If you bought one and immediately burned down the four to six bedroom three-story house, the cost of the lot would still be three to four million dollars. The house is, in essence, free.

Offshore, even on a dank day with large winds pushing in from the Atlantic, the bright scoops of kite surfers soar and pull their riders up off the crest of the waves high into air before gliding down to slide on the surface of the long breaking waves, and into the sands where the plastic pails of the nation's fortunate children are abandoned just above the reach of the waters.

In the Detroit airport, visitors to the United States stand in line to check into the country via a networked series of touch-screen computers. Above them, those too weak, too obese, or too lazy to walk a block or so can ride the glossy red new monorail from gate to gate, or rather from food court to food court.

Las Vegas, "What? Can't hear you!," Las Vegas is still not finished. After all, it still has a vast waste of desert all around it in which to ooze, even if it is bumping up against the Red Rock on one side. Road rubble and fenced off tracks of hard pack frame the Eiffel and other towers of pure fantasy blotching the night with a collection of illuminated signs that form their own Louvre of lighting.

Inside the outside-of-time casinos, the lights and the beeping clang of the slots still form their own eternal sound tracks as the glamorous and the ugly, the meth-skinny and the morbidly obese all take their turns on the wheel of misfortune. The only sound missing in the Hard Rock Casino these days is the clatter of coins dropping from the slots. Instead, there's the faint staccato as the machine prints your ticket when you "cash out." The barely clad money girl is only too happy to turn your winnings into money and see you on your way with the now standard secular blessing of the United States, "Have a nice day," at the stroke of midnight.

The Strip is like New York's Fifth Avenue at Christmas. There are so many people shuffling between fantasies that you can't walk down the wide sidewalks without getting stuck behind pedlock and fleets of electric Rascals moving those who have been far too long at the $5.00 Buffet. A nice new touch is that, should you require one, you can rent your Rascal at the airport, and all the big buffets have portable defibrillators.

After the casual and lightly populated Carolinas where everyone is slow and polite and easy, there are far too many people happening in the Happy World of Las Vegas. So you rent a car that rides like taking your sofa out for a drive and comes complete with 300 radio stations, and move out to where there will be, surely, not very many people at all, ever: Death Valley.

In the midst of an arid nothing on which 95 North is drawn like some temporary hash-mark on the land, your own personal communicator beeps. It's a friend calling from somewhere far away over the mountains and the vast land sea of the plains. He's driving at high speeds through savannahs. You're driving at high speeds over the desert where not even Joshua Trees make the effort to live. His voice is as crisp as if he was sitting beside you on this mobile sofa: "Death Valley? I went there once. It isn't really there. Not as a destination. It's not a place, it's a region. Gas up and keep going once you get there. You want to see nobody, that's the place to be."

Hours later I swoop down the long descending road to the spot on the map that is the lowest part of the country. Hundreds of feet below the level of the sea, which was once here, and, in time, will be again. At the cross roads at Furnace Creek, cars are being blocked by a Highway Patrol SUV and over the road come hundreds of people on horseback out of the desert to mill around in the parking lot by Furnace Creek Inn. After this mob of cowboys and cowgirls clears the road I drive on about a half a mile to where several thousand people have set out lawn chairs, umbrellas, and coolers by the side of the road waiting, it turns out, for the parade.

It's 49ers weekend in Death Valley and the RV culture has shown up in their multitudes. Across the road and on up the slope of the rise, thousands of RVs bake in the sun as their occupants – mostly all older and "retired but not tired" make for the parade and the barbeque and the beer. In the main it looks a lot like the streets of the Las Vegas strip, but without the neon and Elton John. In the store at Stovepipe Wells, the hottest place in America, I get my choice of popsicles and Dove Bars and at least twenty different kinds of beer, all, of course, ice-cold. This is, after all, America and nothing, but nothing, is going to roil our very Happy World.

Until further notice.

A clear, calm dawn in Bishop, California at the top of the vast Owens valley. The Sierras rise to the West with Mt. Whitney white at the top beyond the brindle hills. There's gold and rose in the meadows and trees here just as there were in the trees around the barn dance in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Yesterday, at a fishing retreat at around 10,000 feet in the bright sun small snowflakes blew into my face for a minute or so, spun down from the mountains high above as fly fishermen cast off into impossibly clear and bone-biting cold streams. It's been a long autumn and now winter is falling down from the mountains towards this town.

Later today, I'll drive south through the Mojave and into the wedged and irritated environs of Los Angeles. I'll probably take a room somewhere near the beach in Santa Monica. Tonight I'll go for another ride on the star-lit Ferris Wheel on the Santa Monica Pier. I once lived, briefly, above the Merry-Go-Round at the end of that pier and made moonlight love on the damp sand beneath the boardwalk. But that was in another time and in another world with a girl whose name has faded into the smoke of the world.

Ferris Wheels and Merry-Go-Rounds. Lots of circles in life. It clears the mind to ride our metaphors in the real world from time to time. It lets us see where we stand and where we've been and where we might be going. Even if it is only to "arrive where we started and know the place for the first time."

For some weeks now, and mostly without meaning to, I've been taking a core sample of the United States. Over the decades I've done this from time to time. The first time was a college trip in the early Sixties when some friends and I went 9,000 miles in 9 days in a Volkswagen. The last time before this was when I fled New York and went west with marriage on my mind. This time was less intentioned and worked out better. This time there wasn't a plan or a destination, only a route that emerged as I went.

It's a commonplace to say that the states of our nation are now so diverse that we are a deeply divided country. I've come to see that that old saw is a dull old saw, useful for pundits and prognosticators, but much more false than true. It's the view that arises when people are pent up in the cities far too long, and fall far too much in love with their own voice and views; their own set and setting; their own media-mirrored visage.

What all our media mouthpieces assert is happening in America, is happening -- it turns out -- almost completely within in their sealed and secular Happy World. It is not what's happening in the core of our states where the whirr and the buzz and the blather of the coasts come through only faintly, like screams heard through walls and quickly fading.

Out here, there's a different drum sounded and different dances danced. And, if you could, as I did yesterday, look out over the Owens valley and coast down into the small town of Bishop and watch the men come out at dusk to furl the American flags that line the sidewalks by the hundreds, you'd know, beyond a shred of a doubt, that the states of our union are still strong, and will survive, no matter what happens in the Happy World of our coastal cities, our capitols of culture and corruption, into which, in the course of the decades, everything cheap and corrupt and loose has rolled and congealed.

What happens in those cities may matter in the news of the day, but out here it is the news of the decade that matters. Here is where what we were and are and will become is finally and irrevocably decided. Everyone who thinks they know what the country is and where it is going needs to take some time out every so often and take their own personal core sample. This, for now, was mine.

[First published 2006-11-12]

Posted by Vanderleun Apr 16, 2016 1:39 AM | Comments (21)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"I've got a little list" : Many Americans, and especially Trump supporters, have had it with:

"You may put 'em on the list — you may put 'em on the list;
And they'll none of 'em be missed — they'll none of 'em be missed!"

Anyone named Bush

Anyone named Clinton

Anyone who’s held political office

Political correctness

Illegal immigration

Massive unemployment

Phony “official” unemployment and inflation figures

Welfare waste and fraud

People faking disabilities to go on the dole

VA waiting lists

TSA airport groping


The Federal Reserve’s money-printing schemes

Wall Street crooks like Jon Corzine

Michelle Obama’s vacations

Michelle Obama’s food police

Barack Obama’s golf

Barack Obama’s arrogant and condescending lectures

Barack Obama’s criticism/hatred of America

Valerie Jarrett

“Holiday trees”

Hollywood hypocrites

Global warming nonsense

Cop killers

Gun confiscation threats

Stagnant wages

Chevy Volts

Clock boy

Pajama boy

Mattress girl

Boys in girls’ bathrooms

Whiny, spoiled college students who can’t even place the Civil War in the correct century

…and that’s just the short list.....

More at Who is Donald Trump « The Burning Platform

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 15, 2016 10:40 AM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
If We Believed in Omens.... Heaven's Gate Opens

Celestial Phenomenon Over Nuremberg, April 14th, 1561

In the morning of April 14, 1561, at daybreak, between 4 and 5 a.m.,

a dreadful apparition occurred on the sun, and then this was seen in the city, before the gates and in the country – by many men and women.

At first there appeared in the middle of the sun two blood-red semi-circular arcs, just like the moon in its last quarter. And in the sun, above and below and on both sides, the color was blood, there stood a round ball of partly dull, partly black ferrous color.

Likewise there stood on both sides and as a torus about the sun such blood-red ones and other balls in large number, about three in a line and four in a square, also some alone.

In between these globes there were visible a few blood-red crosses, between which there were blood-red strips, becoming thicker to the rear and in the front malleable like the rods of reed-grass, which were intermingled, among them two big rods, one on the right, the other to the left, and within the small and big rods there were three, also four and more globes.

These all started to fight among themselves, so that the globes, which were first in the sun, flew out to the ones standing on both sides, thereafter, the globes standing outside the sun, in the small and large rods, flew into the sun. Besides the globes flew back and forth among themselves and fought vehemently with each other for over an hour.

And when the conflict in and again out of the sun was most intense, they became fatigued to such an extent that they all, as said above, fell from the sun down upon the earth ‘as if they all burned’ and they then wasted away on the earth with immense smoke.

After all this there was something like a black spear, very long and thick, sighted; the shaft pointed to the east, the point pointed west.

Whatever such signs mean, God alone knows.

Although we have seen, shortly one after another, many kinds of signs on the heaven, which are sent to us by the almighty God, to bring us to repentance, we still are, unfortunately, so ungrateful that we despise such high signs and miracles of God.

Or we speak of them with ridicule and discard them to the wind, in order that God may send us a frightening punishment on account of our ungratefulness.

After all, the God-fearing will by no means discard these signs, but will take it to heart as a warning of their merciful Father in heaven, will mend their lives and faithfully beg God, that He may avert His wrath, including the well-deserved punishment, on us, so that we may temporarily here and perpetually there, live as his children.

For it, may God grant us his help, Amen.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 14, 2016 9:05 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Kids Today


They say it is a mental flaw to let things go "in one ear and out the other," but at my age it is merely a question of deciding what to admit onto the hard drive of my brain. Mine is a large but, alas, limited hard drive, and at this point it is pretty much full. To save something new to it means I often have to delete something else from it. Often what I am deleting is not known to me until later when I search for it. At my age I don't view this "in one ear thing" as a flaw but rather a necessity. I don't forget a thing so much as I let it just "slip my mind."

A common variation of this slippage is our deplorable habit of letting something slip "in one ear and out of the mouth" without first striking either a reflective surface or passing through a BS filter -- preferably both. Once you realize that "In-Ear-Out-Mouth" (IEOM) is an affliction of epidemic proportions in contemporary America you can spot it maiming and killing brain cells everywhere.

The latest notable example of IEOM showed up a few nights ago at a meeting of troubled Americans that I, being troubled by Americans, often attend. A woman of middle years was -- yet again -- bemoaning the fact that she is just, well, nuts. Being nuts is, according to her, part of "Being all I can be!" Even though being crazy makes her unhappy, she seems as determined to hold onto her nuttiness as she is to "let go" of her girlish figure "and let God" bring on the burritos.

It is not that she is nuts that is the problem. The problem is that she has a burning need to "share" her insights. These reflections on her part often give way, as such reflections do, to the nostalgic and idealistic:

"Things were better when...,"
"If only I had what I had when....,"
"Don't you all think I should have now what I had then.....?"

She thirsts for the past. It is her central theme. But last night she introduced a variation on her theme of yearning for the past. She yearned for the deep past -- when she was a child, or, even better, an infant.

In the course of announcing this insight to the stupefied listeners counting the seconds until her 3 minutes were up, she emitted a pure bit of IEOM. She said,

"I was feeling extra crazy so I took a walk down to the town beach where all the new babies were out and all the children were playing. And I saw, so very, very clearly, how lucky the babies and children were to be so simple, and so deeply, deeply sane."

"How lucky the babies and children were to be so simple, and so deeply, deeply sane" is a safe statement to make in a Troubled Americans meeting. It was an IEOM statement that was so incontestable -- lest you be labeled a churl -- that all the other females in the room (Those either presently incarcerated in mom-jail, recently paroled from mom-jail, or hoping to be soon condemned to mom-jail.) began to bob their heads in agreement like a gaggle of drinking birds over the glass.

I, of course, am a churl.

Hence my only thought on hearing this statement was

"In-Ear-Out-Mouth... and you really are crazy if you think that babies and children are sane for one second of the live long day. Infants and children are many things, sweetheart, but sane is not one of them."

Not sure? Let's review.

First and foremost, the unsanitary insanity of infants is strikingly obvious. Any adult human being who has to be spoon-fed, drools uncontrollably, and has forgotten the rudiments of bowel and bladder control had better have loving relatives, a sizable trust fund, a pit-bull lawyer, and medicare lest he or she be put down like an old dog in this society.

It would seem that we put up with this shitty behavior from infants for more than two years simply on the grounds of "they cute." Well, so are kittens and puppies, and the time and expense spent on their basic training is considerably less. Besides, if the kitten or puppy doesn't work out you can just drop it off by the side of the road without much trouble. Try that with an infant and you are quickly brought to heel. It would seem that we are determined to protect levels of unsanitary insanity in some of our citizens more than others. I ask you, how fair and equal is that?

After sanitation, there's post-infancy sound pollution. Children, having had some time to practice at life, acquire small motor skills and a sailor's vocabulary without losing the ability to screech like a disemboweled wombat at any instant and for no reason at all. As a result they present a more interesting buffet of brain disorders.

Napoleonic complexes and the belief that their backsides produce nothing but moonbeams are common mental disorders. Children also have a distinct inability to understand any time lapse at all between desire and gratification. Add to these items the realization that we have, as a society, decided that no actions of children -- no matter how awful -- are to have any consequences other than a disappointed look and a "Time Out," and you have the recipe for all these inmates to rule their asylum homes. Which they do. With predictable results.

In a simpler time, children's misdeeds and psychotic outbursts (A frothing temper tantrum involving heel pounding and floor revolving on being denied a pack of gum was observed recently at a local supermarket.) were controlled simply by referencing the "father" who would "get home soon." No longer. There is often no father that will be home at any time in the next decade. Even when a father is home he is often inhibited in his impulse to renovate the insane child by the knowledge that the child knows how to dial 911. And that the police will respond. With handcuffs and guns.

In making sure that the state guardians of children always respond to 911 calls with weapons, we have given the whip-hand to the nuts in our homes. It is as if an asylum provided an armed bodyguard to every sociopath admitted, and gave that bodyguard permission to shoot the doctors if they even looked cross-eyed at the afflicted. Today the afflicted can look cross-eyed, stick out their tongues, and flip off the doctors as long as they have 911 on the speed dial of the cellular phones the doctors bought for them.

Whenever I observe young children shrieking, swearing, defecating and twitching in public while exhibiting other certifiable insanities I often long for a technological solution and training aid. But since I have been informed that cattle prods and radio-controlled dog shock collars have not been approved for humans under 180 pounds I despair.

I know that in our frantic efforts to get the control over our insane children back from the experts and government agencies to whom we've ceded it, we have often resorted to drugs, but surely some simple behavioral modification techniques can be employed to return them to sanity. Perhaps the "talking cure."

Perhaps our use of the word archaic "No" as a functional part of the conversation with our children would help. Upon reflection, however, that seems doomed to failure as long as the word "No" functions only to instill in our children the rudiments of a gambling addiction.

Think about your own children or children you have observed in the full grip of a "I-want-you-buy-me-crappy-thing-or-I-die-now" dementia. Do you ever see "No" used as a final answer? If you have then you have also seen winged monkeys thrashing about in the parent's pants. Adults who tell demented children "No" are seen by those children as mere slot-machines:

"Can I have?" "No."
"Can I have?" "No."
"Can I have?" "No."
"Can I have?" "No."
"Can I have?" "No."
"Can I have?" "No."
"Can I have?" "No."
"Can I have?" "Oh, all right."

This is made even more of a certainty since children, being functionally insane, cannot have or hold jobs and hence have no cash whatsoever. This makes them persistent and tireless negotiators.

Another example of how demented children are can be seen in their fashion sense. Yes, from the time they learn to fasten their shoes' little Velcro flaps (Another indulgence we've made so they don't ever have to suffer learning how to tie a bowknot lest a life moment dent their "self-esteem."), children left to dress themselves will emerge from their cells in outfits that would cold-cock a circus clown.

So unremittingly awful is a child's concept of couture that mothers will go to extraordinary lengths to dissuade them from appearing outside the bedroom closet in certain combinations. Indeed, the dictum of "You are not going ANYWHERE dressed like that!" seems to be the only requirement still enforced by parents. Yet, every so often, one does slip past comatose parents to a school where the psychotic fashion plate promptly becomes the envy of his fellow inmates: "Whoa, stained underwear over the plaid pants and a penis gourd? Cool!" This is how trends are born.

Of course, by the teenage years, this ability to dress in a myriad of ways suggesting the increasing degeneration of the cerebral lobes has paired itself with the ability to attack parents in their sleep with edged weapons. Once this happens all restraint is lost. This accounts for many children -- during the peak teen-aged years of unbridled psychopathic and sociopathic insanity -- emerging from their million dollar homes and their personal SUVs with the look of a feces-smeared Balkan refugee with multiple facial piercings and a 'message' t-shirt promising to fight for the right to party like demented schnauzers.

Any responsible adult appearing in any of our cities and towns with this "look" would immediately be reported to Homeland Security, surrounded by Navy SEALS locked and loaded, and find themselves on a one-way flight to Guantanamo. But for our children, it's "Hey, they're only kids. What can you do?"

Absent accepting long prison terms should the bodies be found, I guess the only thing we can do is increase our medications faster than we increase those of our children. It's the American Way.

In the meantime, as real adults who have survived our childhood and adolescence and been returned, somehow, to sanity, we might want to think about letting loose talk about the "sanity and innocence" of our children stop passing "In-Ear-Out-Mouth."

Posted by Vanderleun Apr 13, 2016 5:35 PM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: ‘Shenandoah’

Happy Birthday, Mr. Jefferson.


Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 13, 2016 10:29 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
God knows I tried. | Barnhardt, 2012 : "The political class working the Republican side looks down upon all of you as gullible hillbilly trash to be bled dry."



Here in Colorado ten counties had voter turnout in excess of the total adult population of the [county]. Not just the registered voters – the total adult population of the county, excuse me, the county. And what did Romney do? Roll over. How can you not see this? How can you not understand? Do not talk to me anymore about elections. There are no elections. There are no more free elections. Just stand over that dead horse and beat it – it is never going to get up. For the love of God.

Romney raised, let’s call it a billion dollars, which was largely invoiced and cross-invoiced to “consultants”. These “consultants” are members of the oligarch political class. These campaigns are money-making rackets. Period. Full stop. End of story.

“Oh, we gotta give money to this person! We gotta give money to that person!”

Are you stupid?


All these people are doing is running fake campaigns, taking fake polls, putting out fake data, invoicing and cross-invoicing each other to the tune of millions and millions and millions of dollars. And do you know what they do? They sit back and they laugh at all of you.


You know the whole thing, but read the whole thing anyway. Video at the link: God knows I tried. | Barnhardt

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 13, 2016 9:16 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: The Journey of 230,000 Miles Starts With the First Step Up

The view from Apollo 11's Saturn V Launch Camera E-8 on July 16, 1969 9:32 AM. Next stop, the Moon.

This clip is raw from Camera E-8 on the launch umbilical tower/mobile launch program of Apollo 11, July 16, 1969. This is an HD transfer from the 16mm original. Even more excellent footage is available on our DVDs at our website at The camera is running at 500 fps, making the total clip of over 8 minutes represent just 30 seconds of actual time.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 12, 2016 8:13 PM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
World War Trump: The Truth About The Colorado Delegate Controversy | Donald Trump vs. Ted Cruz




Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 12, 2016 1:02 PM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Burning Issue: "Goodbye GOP. I Will Not Be Forced to Vote for Somebody I Don't Want. You're Toast. To Hell With the Republican Party"

Proving once again my ancient adage:


“Strait times come in history. Our time is such a time, millennial, full of fast currents, tossing, eddied, dangerous to pass through.” -- John Fowles

"Dangerous to pass through."The daily drift towards political suicide on the part of the "professional" Republicans is really quite remarkable. It's amazing to watch the loss-loving leaders and media pump-puffers of "The Grand Old Party" bleed themselves to death in the grip their self-willed mass dementia. If they had vented all their raging #NeverTrump froth at Obama he would have needed a sputum snorkel years ago. But to take on that target they would have needed something akin to real political courage. There are no Profiles in Courage to be written about the last ten years of Republican "leadership." Instead the best that could be written would be something along the lines of Profiles in "Gee-Whiz We Just Don't [Have the Senate Have the Votes Have the Votes to Pass the Measure] Have the Votes to Override the Veto.

It's as if the Republican establishment all value their rice bowls, no matter how small, or their "influence," no matter how insignificant, over their voters. It's as if the Republican Walking Dead, in some strange and perverted zombie fornication festival, have all decided to eat their own brains. Watching the gobbling at this vile buffet it would seem the current Party Line comes down to:"We love our internal democratic primary process more than anything else, except when our internal democratic primary process keeps electing someone we don't like, in which case we'll just flush that old and in the way democratic primary process and invent some new way of counting the votes our way, or, in the case of Colorado, the non-votes." Short form; "It's 'The Grand OUR Party' and don't you forget it, plantation slave." This after decades of "We're the party of free Americans and not the plantation slaves of the Democrat party. Besides, all our darkies are white and all the Democrat darkies are gay."

The rationalization for this goes something along the lines of:"Well, the real nomination process is a complicated and subtle process. Most people voting in our primaries just aren't focussed enough to understand how our "voting" process really works. But hey, that's our private real "democracy." Now shut up and let us get on with nominating who we really want. Which at this point is anyone except Trump. Even Cruz. But then again maybe not Cruz. Not really. We'll tell you later who to vote for."

And did we tell you the name of the game, boy? We call it Riding the Gravy Train. -- Pink Floyd

These insightful "sooper-genius" Republican "leaders" seem to have forgotten that the mass of ordinary Republicans, like all ordinary Americans, have a much more basic understanding of democracy, i.e. "One person. One vote." Out beyond the beltway everyday people don't do "deep thoughts" on the political process. Their brains are not beltway bulimic. They don't have time to do it and they don't care to do it. They decide who they like and the vote for that person. It's what they learn in their first American civics class and it sticks. To them democracy is really JUST. THAT. SIMPLE. When the "leadership" starts to play with this simple, easy to understand, concept.... that's when the things that set fire to other things start to appear.

For all their blathering about Realpolitik these insightful "sooper-genius" Republican "leaders" and their apparatchiks seem to have forgotten that in real Realpolitik the simple mechanisms of "democracy" is how parties and states handle and control the one thing that can destroy parties and states: The Mob. (And I don't mean a gang of Italian extraction.)

In general, Realpolitik democracy gives The Mob, at the very least, the illusion that The Mob matters; that it has some control over the party and the state. The Mob values the illusion of self-government very highly. When you take that illusion away, The Mob will go to increasingly greater lengths to get that illusion back. The Mob loves the myth of democracy. It needs the myth of democracy. This is why the most totalitarian states usually have "Democratic" somewhere in their names. The myth mollifies The Mob. And The Mob is what a sane State most wants to mollify.

The Mob can cripple economies. The Mob can shatter nations made of united states. The Mob can turn and then command the allegiance of the Military. The Mob can turn or kill every member of the Pretorian Guard surrounding the Ruler. The Mob can put bullets into the skulls of every last member of the current ruling elite. (And their families too.) The Mob can burn The State to ashes. That individual people can be hurt and killed in the process does not matter to The Mob.

The Mob is a terrifying thing to have loose in a state. It can begin with the bitter burning of party registration papers, such as the gentleman above, and it can end in guns, tumbrils, the Terror, and the rise of a Caesar or a Napoleon. The State can overcome many enemies, but it cannot overcome The Mob.

The Mob is ancient reason why "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

The sort of silly-buggers being played by the Republicans (And also, to be sure, by the Democrats.) this year is not yet at anything like that level. But at the same time the nation and the world are in a very unbalanced, constantly agitated, and overheated state. Those of use who were born in the ashes of the last great global conflagration, and who have seen how history tends towards disaster, cannot be too sanguine over the choice by both parties to poke sticks into the cage of The Mob. It's almost as if, deep down, both parties share the same dementia and are determined to share the same fate. The difference will be that, if The Mob is set loose upon the nation, the Democrat leadership will just be shot, but the Republican leadership will be guillotined face up.

What's that? You think The Mob that prevails will be either Democrat or Republican? Silly rabbit, tricks are for kids. The Mob cannot be controlled that simply. Robespierre thought he could control The Mob. He was one of those The Mob guillotined face up.

Still it is quite strange to watch the Republican party and its hyperventilating promoters morph into a kind of Animal Farm agitprop in which "All Republicans are equal but some Republicans are more equal that others". One expects the Democrat apparatchiks to trot out this "Central Committee Knows Best" kind of pseudo-communist cant, but it is quite interesting to see that all it takes are some unforeseen victories by an outsider to cause the Republicans start purging themselves, first of conservatives, then of independents and then, at last, of Republicans like the gentleman burning his registrations.

Once upon a time, the Republican party had some nice ideals and was clearly the more American of the two parties. Now their best and brightest worst and dimmest are spending all their time, coast to coast, exposing themselves as a bunch of cheap, cheating, lying and power-crazed demagogues willing to roll out any rationalization, break any rule, and run any political scam in order to maintain their daily dwindling "power." Very much like... well... like Democrats, only not as clever about it.


There won't be any trumpets blowing

come the judgment day

on the bloody morning after

One tin soldier rides away

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 11, 2016 1:04 AM | Comments (30)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Biggest Lie of the New Century

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 10, 2016 10:08 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Oy vey ist mir! -- The Hillary Is Out There: John (The Toad Man) Announces Plans to Expose the UFO "Conspiracy"

Yes, no constituency too strange to suck up to for votes.

Declassifying national secrets. It's what she does. Just upload all our secrets to her bathroom server. -- Don Surber

On the other hand, she may just be trying get back to her days of young motherhood....


Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 8, 2016 9:16 AM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Oy vey ist mir! Ted Cruz's Excellent Adventure at the Bupkes Bakery

Bupkes Bakery -- the Bagel Drive

The public has enjoyed Bupkes baked goods for generations — rye breads, rolls, bagels, strudel, rugelah, and particularly our special buttery hamentashen. Poppy seed, apricot, and prune. Baking is what the Bupkes family does. Even in the old country. In fact, Bupkes have been baking in Bialystok for as long as the town has kept records! According to legend, it was a Bupkes who suggested let’s skip the leavening just this once and get our tuchuses out of Egypt already. Bupkeses are not dawdlers!

Meanwhile, it would seem that in order to keep up the ancient American tradition of pandering for the Jewish vote once every four to eight years, Ted Cruz dropped by to help make the matzoh for Passover, 2016 (April 22 - April 30). And,oy, such a matzoh he made already!

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 8, 2016 8:48 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Bad Thoughts

braininjar.jpgYes, it is true. I have "bad" thoughts. Bad thoughts of all kinds and in all colors and at all levels. Bad thoughts that are, in their naked essence, very much like your "bad" thoughts.

Until recently, "bad" thoughts were fairly well understood among humans. You thought about things that were "bad," but you didn't voice them, and if you acted on them, trouble followed swiftly in one form or another. These "bad" thoughts were usually in the realms covered, quite nicely thank you, by the 10 Commandments. It was very seldom, down through the ages, that someone was evil enough, venal enough, and morally dead enough, to add to the categories of "bad thoughts." The nature and extent of "bad" thoughts was pretty much a Trouble Ticket marked "Closed" in the filing cabinet of God.

Alas, since God has been on his sabbatical studying how to make a better platypus, humans (as usual when He takes a break) have been back at their old game -- expanding the realms of "bad" thoughts. This is primarily done by digging up a "bad" thought that has been killed and buried, slapping a lot of rouge on the corpse, fluffing it up like a flat pillow, propping it up at your dinner table, and pinning a brand new name tag on it. It's not pretty, but a lot of us are making a good living at intellectual corpse fluffing these days.

If you should take a look across the mashed potatoes and remark that your uninvited "guest" resembles an extra out of Night of the Living Dead, the corpse fluffers will label you as "insensitive to the real issues of this rotting corpse." The favorite name tag slapped on these fluffed-up corpses these days is, "Ye Olde American Racism." This is the Mother of All New Bad Thoughts. And from this one reeking corpse at America's dinner table all others are cloned. You've had it to dinner before. It will be back.

But the fact that "Ye Olde American Racism" is actually a dead "bad" thought tarted up to look fresh and perky is not the "bad" thought I was having today when I took a break from being a sensitive and caring American prepared to feel any pain of any other no matter how much they hated me, or tried to kill me after picking my pocket. No, it was a very specific "bad" thought, and, like those who feel your pain, I am not going to be shy about sharing it with you.

My "bad" thought came about on Saturday when, with a friend, I took a walk down the streets of Seattle in what is called, with no sense of irony, "The University District."

There is, indeed, a University in the Seattle University District, even if big business is bugging out of there, and a lot of other areas in Seattle, as fast as they can. The University District is pretty much like all the other college and university districts in medium to large American cities today. It provides a living to a small faction of genuine scholars, as well as work space and research facilities and salaries to a host of useful scientists and necessary engineers. But more and more, the main function of our University Districts from coast to coast is to provide a safe-haven for the homeless, the useless, the addicted, the soul-dead, and the politically perverted of all stripes. In addition, the university at the center of these districts currently provides employment for, and benefits to, a host of latter-day hippy professors whose twisted politics, depraved morals and incessant dreams of the destruction of America would make them each persona non grata in most American communities outside of "university districts."

Saturday was an especially good day for seeing the University District as it really is. It was Street-Fair Saturday and, as I remarked to my friend after strolling a couple of blocks, the streets had been transformed into what can only be described as an open-air Moonbat Mall.

Here in the bright light of a perfect day causes of all sorts and flavors jousted for your attention with the scents of a dozen different countries' street food and offers to rub your skull with copper wires. They were still selling and buying tie-dyes that Jerry Garcia wouldn't be caught dead in. You could get sculptures made of polished bones, or you could get sharpened bones driven through your nose while you wait. Parents abused small children openly by paying insane clowns to paint what could be flowers on the faces of the kids. At one point, three generations of goth womanhood walked down the street under parasols; daughter goth, mother goth, and an older woman in deep goth wearing a t-shirt that proclaimed her to be "Fairy Goth Mother." (I had a very brief "bad" thought on reading that, but stuffed it back in the Bad Thought Bag.)

The crowds swirled about us in all the flaky ancient types we've all come to know since, well, 1968. Nothing new about them and, even when confronted with someone with a spider web tattooed on his face, holes the size of silver dollars thought his ears, a couple of dozen piercing in his face and limbs, nothing particularly shocking. All rather common to tell you the truth; just blandly ordinary for the University District. I had a brief moment of shame when I realized that back in the 60s and 70s I had played a small role in inventing all these types, but it passed upon the purchase of a corn dog.

What didn't pass what the deep sense of ennui and inertia that comes over one when you are exposed, for the Nth time, to all the causes and manias that have festered without change in our University Districts for decades. The only real change is that where these causes once seemed to lean forward into the future, they now seem to sink steadily into the past. They're like a variation on the old joke about what you get when you play country music backwards; only in this case you don't get your job back, your wife back, and your dog back. The promise here in these cherished liberal/left/green causes is that if you just believe in them as you once believed in fairies you'll get your high taxes back, your September 10th vulnerability back, and your recumbent bicycle back.

Where do these insane yet indestructible ideas come from? How do they replicate themselves over and over, and still find new brains in which to gain traction like some Birdbrain-Flu virus that cannot be eradicated by either fact or experience? The answer is that they are kept alive and communicable in the Petri dishes of our universities and colleges, and implanted deeply in each new freshman class.

This is obvious to anyone who has been paying attention to the degeneration of the "liberal arts" in higher education into the "liberal hegemony" of higher education. But still, seeing the Moonbat Mall red in tooth and claw, I had to wonder why we allow this all to go on.

It was then I had my "bad" thought which, to make myself pure again, I must confess here to all the world. It is this:

"The reason we continue to maintain and fund our institutions of 'Higher Education' in America today is grounded in sensible and prudent American traditions of social control and economics.

"Having passed through and enacted all the liberal ideas of the last few decades when it came to handling the insane and unhinged among us, we have foolishly allowed a population of delusional schizophrenics to expand into our streets and cities and towns until we are up to our hips in Moonbats. Tragically, the Moonbat population among us is now so large that -- even if we wanted to -- it is no longer possible to build enough institutions to house them all. We simply can't afford that many new loony-bins.

"While this would be a crisis in a less innovative society, we have solved this problem in a very American way. We have decided to let the bizarre among us simply be institutionalized in place in the single network of American institutions capable of sustaining them, the University District. We have even employed the worst offenders and most deeply disturbed among them in the Universities themselves.

"Think about it. Would you like to have a Noam Chomsky or a Ward (How) Churchill showing up and wandering about in your neighborhood, hanging out with your children, lurking in back of the 7-11 with a Little Red Book, a case of Colt '45 Double Malt, and a bag of Slim-Jims? I think not.

"No. You live in a nice town and you value the rising equity in your home, as well your children's intellectual, not to say moral, safety. The very thought of a Chomsky or a Churchill scampering about the neighborhood clad only in ideological Speedos would cause any normal person's' teeth to burst into flame. Mine are feeling a bit sparkish just writing about it.

"No, it is better to have these sorts of people and their "support" groups safely sequestered in the University Districts of America. Think of these not as 'hallowed halls of ivy,' but as Red Light Districts for the Intellectually Pornographic. At the very least, the existence of the University District allows us to know where most of our Moonbats are, even at night. Especially at night.

"But the real upside of maintaining and sustaining the University Districts of America is, alas, the baddest part of my "bad" thought.

For if there ever comes a time when we will have to get our Moonbat population under tighter control, well, we will 'know where they live.' Indeed, it is my understanding that the administrations of all our Universities keep detailed records of names and addresses. And the NSA doesn't even have to ask."

I know that's "bad," but it's just a thought.


Posted by Vanderleun Apr 7, 2016 9:53 PM | Comments (44)  | QuickLink: Permalink
A Kinder, Gentler Time

Submitted for your approval or at least your analysis: this video from a 1971 nothingburger of what was then known as an "underground film." It opens in a garbage pit somewhere in the early 1970s scumbucket known as "the Lower East Side." The main "action" Takes place on what seems to be "The Avenue of the Americans" [Known by real New Yorkers as "6th Avenue."] It's an episode, albeit a psychotic one, called "Kill for Peace" taken from Wilhelm Reich, The Mysteries of the Organism.

At the time the whack job known as Wilhelm Reich was thought to be a big deal by the more demented intellectuals of the academic/beat/hippie fringe. Don't ask why because nobody cares to remember, but it had something to do with getting laid often and with great screaming intensity.

The "star" of this demented scene was one Tuli Kupferberg, hack beat poet, and founder of a demented group called "The Fugs." Now mercifully forgotten, The Fugs grabbed their 15 minutes with such non-charting songs as "Slum Goddess from the Lower East Side," "Coca-Cola Douche," and "Nothing," of which nothing need be said.

The interest here is not in the film itself but in the vision of a drooling idiot in a helmet, rags, and a "not-so-obviously-toy rifle" chimping about the streets of Manhattan with nobody seeming to give the slightest damn.

Could the same scene be replayed today with such studied non-reaction by the New Yorkers standing around watching this idiot chanting "Kill for Peace?" Somehow I think he'd be taking on about a pound and a half of high-velocity lead in 9mm increments in the first 30 seconds.

But I could be wrong.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 7, 2016 6:29 PM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Hey Kids, What Time Is It?" Let's Compare America 1956 vs. America 2016

1956 New York Skyline

2016 New York Skyline [ an image of the Hindu goddess of death, time and destruction known as Kali. And next month a reproduction of the 48-foot-tall arch that stood in front of the Temple of Baal in Palmyra, Syria is going up in Times Square.]

In 1956, John Wayne, Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe were some of the biggest stars in the entertainment world.

In 2016, our young people look up to “stars” like Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga.

In 1956, Americans were watching I Love Lucy and The Ed Sullivan Show on television.

In 2016, the major television networks are offering us trashy shows such as Mistresses and Lucifer.

In 1956, you could buy a first-class stamp for just 3 cents.

In 2016, a first-class stamp will cost you 49 cents.

In 1956, gum chewing and talking in class were some of the major disciplinary problems in our schools.

In 2016, many of our public schools have been equipped with metal detectors because violence has gotten so far out of control.....

The list goes on... and on..... and can be found HERE at Doug Ross @ Journal by Michael Snyder


Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 7, 2016 9:43 AM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Bailing Out The Tomb Boomers: "There's gold in them thar grannies."

Granny-Clampett.jpgMoney, money, money. That's all you hear these days. Hundreds of billions, working on a trillion. Banks need a bailout. Cars need a bailout. Housing needs a bailout. You need a bailout. I need a bailout. Even President Obama needs a bailout from his bailout. Everywhere you go we're tapped out, busted, broke. Let's face it, we need money. It's time for tough choices and tougher love.

Where, oh where, shall this money be found? It is to be found, it would seem, far out on the ocean of the future dead center in the Sargasso Sea of debt. But why borrow from the future when you can simply liquidate under-performing assets in the present? Isn't it better to turn useless stuff you've got just lying around into cash than to take on new debt? Especially if a lot of the new debt is going to pay off the old debt? Of course it is.

The rush to borrow from the future ignores some very tangible assets here at home that could be used to give us all, citizens and government alike, a very nice hit from the money machine.

Traveling through Florida, as I have been for some weeks, you see these underutilized assets all about you. They are everywhere, like rich, virgin topsoil ready to be planted and then harvested. What's more, harvesting these assets to put some real money into circulation does not go against the core values of the ruling Democratic majority. It merely extends them to the logical conclusion. Like the culling of the herd before birth through the use of abortion to get the nonproductive out of the way before they can consume resources, it is time our older citizens -- far past their usefulness, their productive years, but likely to consume lots of resources for decades to come -- were, quite simply, liquidated.

Yes, it's time for mom and pop and granny and grandpop to go. All 37 million of them must be transformed from codger to compost if the American dream is not to become a new-age nightmare. It's time for a government program from coast to coast to make sure that every American over the age of 65 takes one for the team -- in the form of a government approved and delivered .22 bullet in the back of the head.

Now I know that some may think me harsh in my prescription for continuing prosperity among the Baby Boomers and their offspring, but hear me out because, to coin a phrase, "There's gold in them thar grannies."

The summary execution of every man and woman in America over the age of 65 brings two immediate benefits to the United States.

First, it eliminates any call these 37 million Americans might have on Social Security and Medicare. The savings and positive cash flow that will accrue from this government program are obvious.

As we all know, the Social Security Administration (SSa) essentially bet, many years ago, that a lot of people who paid into this Mother of All Ponzi Schemes would simply not live to collect their benefits in any significant degree. It was a "You pay but don't play" sort of deal. As long as the dead suckers outnumbered the living suckers, all was copacetic.

Now that, through the wonders of Medicare, our elderly can suck down benefits for one, two, or even three decades after 65, the Reverse-Ponzi kicks in and people actually get more out than they ever put in. Looking to "get more out than you put in" is, arguably, the attitude that got us into this mess in the first place.

But even now, this cost is still controllable. It merely requires the will. The drain on the ready cash of the nation by the old has got to be stopped by a government approved and delivered .22 bullet before the next check can be cashed. Making this a priority for the Obama Administration's next Executive Order can put a whole new meaning to the previously benign SSa.

And since the dead can't use the services of Medicare beyond a cut-rate body bag and the rental of a gurney journey to the mass grave next to the spent fuel rod storage site in Nevada, trillions will be saved here as well. In addition, hundreds of thousands of hospital beds will be made available to the morbidly obese Baby Boomers when they just have to lie down and take a break from scooting about in their electric "mobility chairs" after an exhausting day of downloading porn at work.

But wait. There's more.

Not only would this herd cull, this mass kill-off, save many trillions of dollars in SS and Medicare payments, it would also deliver that single thing that most Americans have been praying for in the last few months -- their own personal bailout, otherwise known as "an inheritance."

From house trailers to mansions, from piggy banks to Swiss bank accounts, the elderly among us have been, let's face it, holding out. What good is money to a person too weak to withstand a weekend in Vegas? What good is money when the main purchase at the market is dog food rather than shade-grown, free-trade cruelty-free foie gras? No good at all.

Be candid with yourself. How many other boomers do you know that have been quietly praying for their elders to kick off sooner rather than later so they can move into the Florida condo and ebay away all those lamps from 1958 in order to redo the kitchen with those horrid avocado appliances? Plenty. And you know it.

And, let's face it, mom and dad may have been "hot" once, but they really aren't all that pleasant to look at now, are they? Isn't it better for all of us to cash them out now before they can do something foolish like sell the house and give the money to the Bide-A-Wee Fund for Anorexic Manatees?

Let's not forget that the Obamament gets a slice of their corpse cake too. And if there is anything in the world who needs money more than the Obama administration, it is hard to find it. These people have promises to pay off and those gold toilet seats in the Trade Unions bathrooms simply cannot wait. Plus you don't really think Air Force One flies on angel farts, do you? Nope. This government needs money to bailout the bailout. If it is patriotic to pay more taxes, it is super-patriotic to off grandma and spilt the loot with Congress.

A third benefit is a jobs program right here and right now. And for the disadvantaged as well.

It might take some training to teach an urban youth basic skills such as "showing up on time for work" since they have only had eight to twelve years of expensive education, but it takes none at all to have urban youth sneak up on grandpa and "bust a cap in his skanky ass." This new class of SSa worker allows us to put jobs, paying jobs, that the worker already knows how to do on the street tomorrow. "A hit tomorrow = a pay check Friday" should be the new slogan of the Obama Works Administration (OWA!). This should not be, I hasten to add, a kind of "WPA" (We Putter Around) retread of the glorious FDR years, but a new take on killing for the state with both quotas and bounties for all.

The willing youth workers of America await. All that is required is a government regulated .22 pistol and a few boxes of ammunition each.

In the unquenchable spirit of "Yes, we can!" there is opportunity in this act for those that want to give back and pitch in to make America great again. Families that take culling into their own hands and transport the bodies of their mothers, fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers to their local Transplant Parts Recycling Unit will be paid the bounty plus an eco-bonus for helping the government clean up after itself and keeping the country green through recycling properly. In addition they get to feel like "really good people" for reducing the carbon-footprint that the elderly would leave if they were left alive. People presenting two or more bodies will be given a bumper-sticker autographed by the Secretary of the Interior proclaiming "Dad's Dead That the Planet May Live."

I need hardly add that this herd culling will be a one-time government stimulus program designed to get rid of 37 million drags on our society, and that Baby Boomers, many of whom are approaching 65, have nothing to fear in the future. Congress will sunset this law 18 months after it is enacted if there are enough members left alive to form a quorum.

To recap the benefits of "The Cull:"
A cost-saving program going forward that will return Social Security and Medicare to solvency.
A large cash infusion to individuals (survivors) and the government alike as trillions in assets are liquidated and taxed.
A jobs-creation program for unemployed and previously unemployable Urban Youth which will do much to enhance their self-esteem.

I call for the ruling party to put aside their own ages, draft appropriate legislation (with the proviso that all guns and ammunition be 'Made in America'), and move the bills into law. After all, a party that can kill millions of babies ("for their own good") should have no problem popping a cap in granny's ass.

Finally, I should like to apologize to my sweet gray-haired mother for whatever may happen to her in the future, but, hey mom, it's you or me. And, as all good Baby Boomers from the President down know, it's always been "all about me."

Posted by Vanderleun Apr 7, 2016 12:24 AM | Comments (45)  | QuickLink: Permalink
So long Merle. See you a little further down the road.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 6, 2016 11:57 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
44 Years of the Climate Change Scam in 1 Cartoon

by Rick McKee as found at The Federalist Papers

Even the zombies who say they believe this shit no longer really believe this shit, they just know they have to keep on saying they believe this shit in order not to be in the shit for not believing in this shit. It's sort of shitty, but this is the shit they've chosen. (4) Facebook Moi

Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 4, 2016 11:12 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Duty. Honor. Country. -- Transcript of Final Moments of Russian Spetznaz Officer


Russian 'Rambo' called in airstrikes on HIMSELF when surrounded by ISIS fighters

Trapped behind enemy lines, surrounded by jihadists and with no possible means of escape, Alexander Prokhorenko, 25, took the decision to end his own life by calling in Russian warplanes to obliterate his location. The special forces soldier, on a secret mission in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, has since been hailed as a hero in his native Russia. His wife Ekaterina, who is pregnant with their first child, today revealed she had no idea he was fighting in Syria.

And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap...
-- Henry V.

Officer: They are outside, conduct the airstrike now please hurry, this is the end, tell my family I love them and I died fighting for my motherland.

Command: Negative return to green line

Officer: I can’t command, I am surrounded, they are outside, I don’t want them to take me and parade me, conduct the airstrike, they will make a mockery of me and this uniform. I want to die with dignity and take all these bastards with me. please my last wish, conduct the airstrike, they will kill me either way.

Command: please confirm your request

Officer: They are outside, this is the end commander, thank you, tell my family and my country I love them. Tell them I was brave and I fought until I could no longer. Please take care of my family, avenge my death, good bye commander, tell my family I love them

Command: No response, orders the airstrike.


[Via Never Yet Melted サ ]

Brave and valiant men like this -- Russian, American or other -- always fill a lesser man such as myself with respect and abiding admiration. What did Alexander Prokhorenko sacrifice for duty, honor, and country? Everything....


Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 2, 2016 8:21 AM | Comments (20)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: The Sins of Memphisto

"Sally used to play with her hula hoops
Now she tells her problems to therapy groups....."


Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 2, 2016 3:04 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
West Exit

Every day it does not rain, and many days when it does, this man walks three miles to the Pike Street public market in Seattle to play long alien notes on his Chinese instrument.


You walk by him on your way to the Athenian Cafe in the market. He's got a couple of bucks and change in his begging cup so you toss in a couple more. When you come out of the restaurant an hour or so later, he's got what he had, what you gave him, and a couple of quarters more. Almost everyone is ignoring him. He plays on.

Seattle is a second-level city mostly famous in popular culture for a second-rate rock band who did not so much invent "grunge" as simply show up on stage playing and wearing it. The band and its lead singer have been in different stages of dead for decades now, but their style lives on in Seattle like the galvanic twitches in the corpse of a frog long after it has been pithed. Seattle's left with a zombie pop culture whose only hope for survival is feeding on the brains of the bovine young. That's thin gruel for a zombie, but Seattle's "cultural scene" is eking out an undead living with inspirational shows such as this:

Lest you misunderstand, the names on the portable outhouse door are band names. If you attend this venue of "cutting-edgy" and oh-so-transgressive "creativity" you can hear hymns to little monsters, excrement, liquid excrement, maimed animals, and vague apocalyptic rumors. If you are fortunate your ears will not bleed as part of the "fun." Make no mistake about it, the names of the bands will be the best thing about them. In fact, the poster itself tells you so in no uncertain terms.

I don't think the old Chinese musician in the market will get into this club, unless it is to make five bucks for scraping the roaches, rubbers, and lost drugs works off the floor, and to mop out the toilets. It's pretty much how "youth culture" rolls in this second-level city.

Postmortem effects. The twitching of the pithed.

But of course that's just "pop" culture and it's pretty much drained of the new, the beautiful and the true everywhere. There's always "haute" culture to turn to, isn't there?

Let us go then, you and I.... to the acclaimed and recently redone Seattle Museum of Art. It's just a couple of blocks from the old Chinese musician in the market. It's recently undergone one of its relentless expansions under the watchful gaze of Bill Gates mom. The entrance is vaulting. Vaulting enough to have room for an extremely awful sculpture of five or six bad cars hanging from the ceiling with sticks of lights spurting from them in a vague pattern. What does it all mean? Well, in the words of R. Crumb's Mr. Natural, "It don't mean shit."

But wait, surely with the Gates family doing the heavy fund-raising lifting, this cathedral to high art in the 21st century is light years beyond the grunge and excrement of the pop culture music scene? It just has to be, doesn't it.

Of course not. Here's what you see enshrined in the dead center of the main exhibit floor of the Seattle Art Museum:


Yes, that's a museum quality ceramic toilet by one of my old art teachers, the late Robert Arneson. I studied under him for a couple of terms at the University, and he was an amazing man, and not a bad sculptor, but still second-level when confined to his era. He'll be virtually unknown in another 50 years and this particular piece will be part of the reason. Even though it gets pride of place in the Seattle Art Museum, it is -- to say the least -- one of the worst Arneson's around and he has many. Still, a third rate collection in a second level city has to take what it can get.

On the wall to the right is, as it happens, another third rate work by another of my instructors, the painter William Wiley. Wiley can be an interesting and amusing, if obtuse, painter, but the one seen here gives you no more close-up than it does as a smudge in this photograph. It fits right to the collection of SAM though. It's a museum where many artists are represented but none well. The museum seems to buy the names but not the quality. Deep down, it's shallow.

The single area in which the museum excels is the one area, of course, that is given short schrift; the totem poles, lodge carvings, masks, and ceremonial costumes of the Native American tribes of the Northwest Coast of North America. The collection, so I am told, is vast and world-class. Hence SAM hides most of it away so that more toilets of clay can be exhibited.

It's to be expected since in culture high and low these days, we are it seems a country half in love with easeful death and half in love with excrement.

Long ago, the natives of Seattle wore clothes like this:


Today, the descendants of those same tribes wear clothes like this:


Just the gear for a great night out at The Funhouse listening to "Shit Gets Smashed" and "The Hershey Squirts."

When I went back to the market to catch the bus I passed by the Chinese musician again. He'd made another couple of bucks from putting the music of a thousand years ago into the streets of the second level city of Seattle. When the bus finally came, I was encouraged to see that there was even more haute culture coming our way:


First Published: 2009-05-04

Posted by Vanderleun Apr 2, 2016 1:41 AM | Comments (41)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Doctor StrangeTrump or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Don


Narrator: For more than a year, ominous rumors had been privately circulating among high-level Republican Cucksuckers that their ridiculously named Chairman Reince Priebus had been at work on what was darkly hinted to be the ultimate weapon: a fixed and bogus convention in which millions of Republican voters were to be mercilessly gang-raped -- while still allowing the staff of the National Review to keep Cucksucking on their gilded kneepads for the next ten decades, or until Rich Lowry's penis exceeded two inches, which ever came first. Intelligence sources traced the origin of the top secret Cuckservative rat copulating project to the perpetually fog-shrouded skull of Joe Biden in Foggy Bottom. Why these Cucksuckers were preparing to destroy their own party, and why those plans should originate in such a dumbass democrap no one could say.

Still, being such pansyasses as the "leadership" was, did they have the resolve to go ahead with their plan while knowing that, if they did, some disgruntled voter or voters would spend a long, long time looking to put a .338 Lapua Magnum round into their pointy little heads at 1,000 meters?



Posted by gerardvanderleun Apr 1, 2016 10:25 PM | Comments (13)  | QuickLink: Permalink
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